Hunger Rate in Washington Homes Takes a Spike | Seatte Post-Intelligencer (Strange Bedfellows Blog) | 11-18-2010
- Report: Hunger up 36 percent in the state | Auburn Reporter | 11-18-2010
- Editorials | Jule Sugarman and Head Start — a life-enriching legacy | Seattle Times Newspaper | 11-21-2010
- The Conversation: How To Fix Washington's State Budget, And Low-Power FM | KUOW Radio | 11-19-2010
In this edition, hunger rates spike to 36 percent in Washington state, as reported by the Seattle PI, The Auburn Reporter and as stated in the Children’s Alliance Hungry in Washington 2010 report. Also, in memory of Jule Sugarman, Seattle Times emphasizes the efficacy and importance of early education and local efforts, while the Washington State Budget & Policy Center shares a balanced approach to the formidable budget shortfall this upcoming year.
The USDA report found that the number of Washington households that are "food insecure," struggling to afford enough nutritious food, increased from 288,000 to 367,000 in 2009, a 27 percent increase over 2008. The number of households experiencing actual hunger took an even sharper spike: 152,200 Washington households met a definition called "very low food insecurity", up 40,200 or 36 percent over 2008…"It is more crucial than ever that federal and state lawmakers take care of all of Washington's families and address the hunger crisis,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance. “We must meet our families' most basic needs by strengthening, and not cutting, effective programs that feed our families."
The number of Washington households that are food insecure, meaning they struggle to afford enough nutritious food, rose from 288,000 to 367,000 in 2009, a 27-percent increase over the prior year. The rise in households that are hungry was even more striking: 152,200 Washington households met the definition for hunger (called “very low food insecurity” in the report), up 40,200 or 36 percent.
After declaring his War on Poverty, President Lyndon Johnson called upon (Jule) Sugarman to use education as the weapon of choice. Early learning was critical, Johnson said, because 5-year-old's are "inheritors of poverty's curse and not its creators." Head Start has survived because it works.
Remy Trupin, executive director of Washington State Budget & Policy Center is on KUOW today discussing the latest drop in revenue and the more than $300 million Washington state must cut. And in the next budget there will be a $5.7 billion shortfall to make up. Ross Reynolds asks: “How do you undertake such a task without falling into partisan, special interest squabbling?” Jason Mercier, director for Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center in Olympia, also joins the conversation.
Two things are clear after Thursday’s new revenue forecast showing the state will be about $385 million short of maintaining public priorities in the current budget and $5.7 billion short in the next biennium…It is highly likely that the Governor will convene a special session of the legislature in the next few weeks – a session in which policymakers will be forced to make tough choices in order to keep the current state budget in balance amid the ongoing economic turmoil. Second, now more than ever, it is imperative that lawmakers adopt a balanced approach that includes new revenues in dealing with the recession’s continued assault on workers and families in our state.
Being poor for even a short period of time can have lasting health implications for children, according to a new report by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 15.5 million children are living in poverty in the United States, that's one in five children according to the Census Bureau. Researchers looked at data surrounding four topics: Health, food security, housing stability and maltreatment. They examined each in relation to past and present recessions. During childhood, the body is growing quickly and researchers say even a brief period of poor nutrition could lead to lifelong issues.
Children who don't regularly get enough healthy food suffer behavioral difficulties, fatigue, poorer health, weaker immune systems and more hospitalizations. Not surprisingly, hungry kids also show impaired performance in school - academically, athletically and socially. More than 60 percent of public school teachers identify hunger as a problem in the classroom. Roughly the same percentage go into their own pockets to buy food for their hungry students. But here's the good news: We can end childhood hunger in America in this decade, maybe even in the next five years. The programs to achieve this are already in place. They're just woefully underutilized.