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:
This document contains all of the information you'll need to talk to everyone from policy makers and reporters to your neighbors and friends.
One April 13th 2010 the Washington Child Nutrition Coalition came together to release a message to congress urging Congress to make a greater investment in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.
For more information contact Linda Stone by phone (509) 844-1314 or
In April 2010 the United States Senate unanimously passed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act completing one of the first steps in a long process of improving our national child nutrition programs. The Washington Child Nutrition Reauthorization Coalition prepared a response to the new legislation, both applauding the bipartisan support for the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and identifying key areas for improvement.
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.
December 2, 2009— A new report from the Children’s Alliance shows that merely 16 percent of the 280,000 children who eat free lunches during the school year have access to similar meals during the summer months.
The report, “Summertime Hunger in Washington State,” includes initial data from the summer of 2009 that suggest more children flocked to the summer meal programs during the recession, but that the programs operated for fewer days as school districts, parks departments and other organizations cut back due to budget woes.
Of the 300,000 Washington children who got free or reduced-priced lunch on an average day in the 2008-09 school year, only 11 percent of them got summer meals through the federal Summer Food Service Program. While the recession is pushing the need for meals up, many programs sponsored by school districts, parks departments and other organizations cut the number of days they were open last summer.
The Children's Alliance continues to gain coverage from rising hunger rates. This article ran in the Spokesman-Review and cites hunger figures from our 'Hungry in Washington' report and quotes Linda Stone, our Senior Food Policy Coordinator, saying:
Several media outlets picked up on our Hungry in Washington report, including the Seattle Times, Northwest Public Radio (KPLU and KUOW), the Olympian, and Real Change. The Seattle Times added information from Linda Stone, our Senior Food Policy Coordinator, to a national Associated Press story:
"We need more family-wage jobs, and federal nutrition programs should be stronger," Stone said. She also hopes the state Legislature will act to help pay for summer meal programs for children who depend on breakfast and lunch programs in public schools during the school year.
"There are children in classrooms across the state who may be coming into classrooms without dinner," Stone said. "We see school feeding programs as rock- bottom important."
November 16, 2009 -- A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that hunger in Washington is on the rise as the effects of the recession take their toll on Washington families.
Estimated Washington households that are food insecure, meaning there may not be enough to eat, rose to 288,000 in 2008, a 13 percent increase over the prior year. The rise in households that are hungry was even more striking: 112,000 Washington households met the definition for hunger (called “very low food insecurity” in the report), an increase of 24 percent.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that hunger in Washington is on the rise as the effects of the recession take their toll on Washington families. The Children's Alliance's analysis of the data, Hungry in Washington, says that hunger was up 24 percent in December, 2008, compared to the prior year, and 13 percent more Washington households struggled to put enough food on the table.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review published an op ed on August 29th from our Senior Food Policy Coordinator, Linda Stone. The piece talked about the growing need for summer food programs at a time when budget cuts are forcing many such programs to shut down. Here's an excerpt:
While many of us think of summer as a time of bounty, overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables, for low-income families summer can be a time of deprivation. For thousands of children in these families, going back to school means a return to at least two solid meals a day.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The Children's Alliance 2009 Legislative Agenda lays out our top priorities in this tough legislative session.
The Children's Alliance 2009 End Childhood Hunger policy paper lays out our priorities for the 09 legislative session: support struggling families to provide at least two meals a day.
Summary of impacts on hunger in the House and Senate Farm Fills 2007
Don't leave kids half full: Legislative Priorities for Hunger and Nutrition in 2008