Nearly 300,000 children in Washington live in families that struggle to put nutritious food on the table every day. The issues these children face can be complex; the solution to their hunger is not: Feed children three nutritious meals each and every day.
This is the simple foundation of our strategic plan to end childhood hunger in Washington.
One step in the plan is to feed hungry kids during the summer. Currently in Washington State only 11% of children who receive free and reduced cost meals during the school year are accessing free summer meal programs. A small investment of state resources to increase summer meal sites will bring millions in federal dollars to feed kids in local communities.
Household incomes for Washington’s poorest families have yet to recover from the 2008 recession, according to the national 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.
Washington is ranked 15th among the 50 states (PDF) in the Data Book this year; that’s four places higher than last year, when it was ranked 19th.
Since 2008, the number of children growing up without health coverage has improved by 38 percent. That’s good news, as coverage is all but essential for kids to see a health professional or get medicine when they’re sick. Credit is due to the state’s Cover All Kids law, which passed in 2007 and created affordable health coverage called Apple Health for Kids. The Affordable Care Act’s 2014 creation of a flexible market for individual plans has also propelled child coverage in Washington to one of the nation’s highest.
Yet the child poverty rate is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in 2008, with an additional 59,000 children growing up below the federal poverty level.
The state Supreme Court must not order action that would endanger children’s constitutional rights to educational opportunity.
So says an Amici Curiae brief filed by four organizations working together to advocate for kids in the context of the McCleary decision. The organizations are Columbia Legal Services, the Equity in Education Coalition, the Children’s Alliance and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.
Almost half of all Washington children—4 in 10—live in a family with inadequate income. And a rising share of the state’s student body are children of color, who tend to face implicit, institutional and structural racial bias that forms imposing barriers to their success. These factors—whether they take the form of financial insecurity, homelessness, foster care placement, poorer access to health care or household hunger—make a child’s educational opportunity fragile.
SEATTLE – Kids and families in Washington state have made some progress in the face of poverty rates that have yet to improve, according to the new national 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.
This past session, the Children’s Alliance fought for policy solutions rooted in our commitment to improve the lives of Washington’s children and advance racial equity, so every child has the opportunity they deserve.
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