Lawmakers in Olympia are considering establishing a Washington Food Policy Forum, currently sponsored by Sen. Ken Jacobson, Senate Bill 6343. Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator of the Children's Alliance, and Jim Baird, a farmer in the Royal City area, discuss why the Forum would address food costs, access to healthy food and finding ways to support local farms. They write:
Senate and House lawmakers have rightly proposed budgets that raise substantial new revenue to protect some of the vital services that are helping children and families weather this punishing recession. But more revenue is needed to prevent devastating cuts to safety-net programs that, if enacted, would hurt families and pose serious threats to our state’s economic recovery.
Lawmakers are debating ways to adopt a balanced budget by March 11th—they can either cut services, raise revenue, or do a combination of both. We support a balanced approach that includes significant new revenues. Delaying action is not an option. Read more about why kids need revenue now.
Washington State U.S. Representative Rick Larsen, from the 2nd Congressional District, has co-sponsored legislative to expand access to afterschool meals and snacks for low-income children and reduce paperwork for providers.
A recent report by the Food Research and Action Center found that 18.8 respondents in the North Olympic Peninsula have had trouble affording enough
Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator for Washington's Children's Alliance, said the 6th Congressional District probably was high on the list because it is largely rural.
Kids who rely on school meals during the school year often go without
the nutrition they need during the summer months. A small, up-front investment can draw millions in federal funds to help curb summer hunger for Washington kids. By chipping in $250,000, the state could leverage up to $4 million in federal funds to expand summer meal sites in a dozen communities across Washington.
Almost one in five households across Washington state reported they didn’t have enough money to buy the food they needed in 2009. Families with kids are hurting even more, with 23 percent saying they struggled to put food on their tables, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center.
At a news conference convened by the Rebuilding Our Economic Future Coalition, the Children’s Alliance joined parents and teachers in urging our state lawmakers to raise significant new revenue to protect kids and schools.
January 13, 2010 — Gov. Chris Gregoire’s revised budget rightly protects Apple Health for Kids, Maternity Support Services and some other vital programs that are helping Washington families weather this grueling recession. But many critical investments remain in jeopardy.
The Seattle Times invited the Children's Alliance and a handful of other organizations to write an oped giving state lawmakers advice for the upcoming session.
We urged them not to turn their backs on the children and families who need them most. "If we do," Executive Director Paola Maranan wrote, "we would only create problems that become costlier to solve down the road."