One million people across Washington will have a little more trouble keeping food on the table, according to children's advocacy group Children's Alliance. A federal food stamp increase put into place four years ago, expired on Friday.
As the Cresse children worked to finish a puzzle Sunday afternoon, their dad was trying to piece together the family budget without one key piece.
"Towards the end of the month it really gets down to pennies and dimes," Gordon Cresse said.
The family receives $436 a month in food assistance benefits. Last week, it was cut by $36. It may not seem like much, but with three hungry kids it is.
"That $36, honestly, it's my milk, it's my juice," Cresse said.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted families benefits to ease hardship during the recession. Many families were given about $30 more a month, but that boost just expired.
Tracey Flowers is the owner of childcare center "A Bright Beginning," and says 60 percent of her clients will feel the effects of the cut.
"When budget cuts happen, it's always the kids that get it, whether it be childcare...or funding for schools," she said.
Flowers says she's already seeing changes.
"(Parents) end up actually bringing (their kids) in a little early so they're guaranteed to have the breakfast and meals we serve here," Flowers said.
Gordon Cresse says he'll continue counting pennies, and find other ways to make the pieces fit.
"Especially with three kids, they're constantly eating you know."
According to Children's Alliance, Washington currently ranks 15th in the nation for hunger.