March, 2012

Kids in the News, March 29, 2012


In this edition, Spokane’s growing community of Marshallese immigrants gather to save State Food Assistance, Gov. Gregoire signs a historic new health care law, and the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act reignites a family legacy for one young man from Washington. In other state news, one reporter says legislators need to put their money where their mouth is for high-quality preschool funding. In national news, a new federal House budget has major, long-term consequences for kids.

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Marshallese families advocate in Spokane to protect State Food Assistance


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.

Yuriko speaks

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. 

Kids in the News, March 21, 2012


In this edition, the newest state Senate budget proposal inspires a Tri-City food bank director, a Spokane mother, and two senators from King County to speak up for State Food Assistance funding. A new analysis shows that kids make up 70 percent of Washingtonians receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In national news, the Affordable Care Act will expand children’s coverage in 2014 after bringing the number of uninsured U.S. children down to its record low.

Health reform is a winner for Washington kids


This Friday is the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like Social Security and Medicare before it, important laws like the ACA inspire vigorous debate.

While there are lots of opinions about health care reform, there’s no disputing its benefits for children across the country and here at home.

Kids in the News, March 14, 2012


In this edition, one child advocate reminds lawmakers to consult their Washington values to protect food assistance for 12,500 hungry families in the state, and a mother from Kent shares how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) brought her family out of homelessness into self-sufficiency. In national news, food stamps fight both hunger and poverty, and the Obama Administration releases its final rule on state health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Kids in the News, March 9, 2012


In this edition, a late night Senate vote on the state budget puts child care and food assistance at risk for thousands of vulnerable families. Meanwhile, the “Go for the Gold” school breakfast campaign kicks off during National School Breakfast Week to promote better student health and performance in Seattle Public Schools, and in Spokane, a growing Marshallese community that prioritizes education is at risk of losing the anti-hunger program that supports their children’s success. One in four Washington children’s first “dental visit” is a trip to the emergency room, and in national news, it’s one in four that belong to families who struggle to pay their health care bills, even as health coverage improves for children overall.

Friday Night’s Roadkill: Kids


Friday night’s takeover of the state Senate gives pundits much to ponder. Who gained at whose expense? What happens now?

Kids Not Cuts

But while the dust settles on a potentially deadlocked legislature, one fact is clear. The children of Washington got trampled when a group of Senators conspired to ram through the entire state education, health care, and social services budget without even a nod to public input. Kids are the new roadkill.

How quickly things change. Last year, members of the Senate’s “Roadkill Caucus” stood up for kids and successfully blocked cuts such as taking away Apple Health for Kids health coverage from 27,000 children. In fact, most members of that caucus voted against brutal cuts to kids in the budget that prevailed by the narrowest of margins. 

March a great month for school breakfast


Next week, schools across the country will be celebrating school breakfast week with new menu items, fun promotions and, most importantly, great nutrition.

Here in Washington several school districts are taking the Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge and have pushed their school breakfast promotions a few steps further.