OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate today approved legislation to provide transitional food assistance for more families.

Senate Bill 5785, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), would direct the Department of Social and Health Services to provide transitional food assistance to households that no longer receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The transitional food assistance would last for five months after the family ceases to receive TANF benefits so long as they are not in full-family sanction status.

“This bill is an important measure to make sure kids across the state are getting the food they need to grow and thrive,” said Lovelett. “It is far too easy for a family to be just 1 cent away from losing their necessary benefits – but with this bill we are taking a key step to ensuring there is a ramp rather than a cliff for families that no longer receive benefits.”

The legislation would go into effect in January of 2024. It will now head to the House for consideration. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 10.