Have a Heart for Kids Day is your day to speak up for kids. Right now, your voice matters. Join hundreds of child, youth, and family advocates from across Washington State and speak up for kids!
This month, tens of thousands of Washington’s families lose half their State Food Assistance, with Children’s Alliance standing by one hard-hit immigrant community in Spokane. Last week, a family in Mukilteo was relieved that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act; now their son can get the care he needs. In other news, an editorial writer praises the decision’s implications for Washington’s kids, and an in-depth report discusses what steps Washington took to improve access to health coverage for all families.
A recent editorial says deep cuts to food stamps in the Farm Bill would hurt 234,000 Washington families. In other news, a strong advocate in Lacey gets recognition for protecting State Food Assistance for 12,500 hungry children in Washington. In national news, an amendment to prevent a $4.5 billion cut to food stamps is voted down in the U.S. Senate. The Affordable Care Act’s health coverage expansion to 49 million parents is good for kids, and President Obama’s new immigration policy to protect young people will make waves in early learning.
At the Voices for Children Awards Luncheon last week, Children’s Alliance recognized the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, the Washington Parent Ambassadors and Jiji Jally for their stellar advocacy for kids. In national news, an editorial calls for protections to food stamps in the Farm Bill, and a columnist reminds us that prior to the Affordable Care Act, 28 percent of young Americans were uninsured.
Last Thursday, nearly 500 advocates from every corner of the state gathered at our Voices for Children Awards Luncheon to protect the “Just One Childhood” every child has to grow and thrive.
With the help of returning emcee Eric Liu, Children’s Alliance presented three awards honoring outstanding advocates for kids in our state:
Times continue to be tough for thousands of Washington families. Long-term unemployment is still rising, and now, more than 10,000 Washington workers have come to the end of their unemployment benefits. One in eight children in our state live in households where someone is experiencing unemployment.
Yet Congress is breezing through a series of budget bills, and the 2012 Farm Bill as though the future of our kids and our nation's ability to feed them were not at stake. They are wrong.
One in four Washington children struggle against hunger. In these families meals are skipped, food is rationed, cheaper but less healthy food is purchased, and choices are made between food, rent, medicine and the gas needed to get to work. These families face the dilemma of “heat or eat” every day.
A recently released report reveals that a new kind of health care provider, like the one proposed in the state Legislature last session, can effectively serve children and families who have a hard time getting affordable dental care.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s number-one defense against hunger. And it’s shaped by the Farm Bill, a piece of legislation renewed every five years by Congress, and up for consideration in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday.
Much of the Farm Bill debate centers on farm subsidies. Wealthy, vested interests are sure to weigh in. But with more than 1 million Washingtonians participating in Basic Food (our name for the program here in Washington), we need to make sure the voices of hungry families are heard.
At the Children’s Alliance we strive to protect children from the lethal effects of racism and inequality through advocacy: by working to change laws and policies so they create a better environment for all children.
As the close of the legislative session made clear, advocacy can work wonders. Yet it can’t intervene in a potentially fatal interaction between two individuals. When one of those interactions comes to pass, as it did for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., there is good reason for outrage.
And, amid our outrage, there are reasons to act.
In this edition, education and child anti-hunger advocates agree that a cut to State Food Assistance is also a hit to education for 12,500 hungry kids in the state at risk of losing their food stamps. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Working Connections Child Care helps one family get through an emergency, and a new mid-level provider can prevent one in four Washington children from going to the emergency room as their first dental visit. In national news, the federal House budget would increase income inequality for children and families, with deep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps.
Last Wednesday, 70 Marshallese community members and neighbors gathered in Spokane to protect a critical food source that has helped thousands of families survive in Washington.
As dozens of Marshallese immigrants attested, the State Food Assistance (SFA) program is a lifeline to these Spokane residents, who constitute about 850 out of 1,270 documented immigrants receiving SFA in Spokane County.
Yesterday, Children’s Alliance delivered nearly 40 letters to Spokane legislators from parents, grandparents, and other community members at Wednesday’s meeting.