This ordinances amends the City's 2020 Budget by allocating $5 million in Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) funds to the Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE). An accompanying staff memorandum explains that the purpose is to "create a new $5 million grocery voucher program in the OSE to support low-income families facing food insecurity because of the response to COVID-19." The ordinance recognizes that "services funded by the proceeds of the Sweetened Beverage Tax are intended to expand access to" e.g., "healthy and affordable food; close the food security gap; promote healthy nutrition choices." Following this allocation, the Council requests that the OSE "prioritize supporting the following categories of Seattle residents, should the City fund additional food assistance in the future: A. Immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status, and including recipients of the State-Funded Food Assistance Program; B. Individuals aged 60 years or older; C. Individuals with disabilities; D. Workers dislocated due to the COVID-19 civil and state emergency; and E. Individuals enrolled in City assistance programs, such as Fresh Bucks and the Utility Discount Program.(The referenced staff memorandum can be found here: http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8221594&GUID=8E1B1FFF-B3B1-44C1-9510-3B140BE5B4AB).
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