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.
Late last week, the regular legislative session ended, and Governor Jay Inslee called legislators back to work, starting this Wednesday, to accomplish the critical task of writing the next two-year operating budget.
State legislators and engaged Washingtonians have made tremendous progress over the past four months in building the kind of future Washington’s kids deserve. Both chambers of the Legislature passed their respective versions of the Early Start Act, which makes historic investments in the first five years of life.
All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way. Our tax system is:
Inequitable. Washington’s tax system is the most regressive in the nation: Low-income families pay a much higher proportion of their income than do wealthy families. The racial wealth gap means that children of color are also more likely to live in households that bear a disproportionate share of responsibility for our state’s basic services.
Regressive taxation hurts kids of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, because 4 out of 10 Washington children live in a disproportionately tax-burdened low- or moderate-income home.
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that he’ll protect Washington families from new, harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
The Governor will adjust the state’s utility-assistance payments to certain eligible households from $1 to $20.01, ensuring that thousands of families get the food assistance they need to feed their children.
Today’s release of the KIDS COUNT® policy report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, unveils the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. The data can better inform policymakers who create policies and programs that can benefit all children, while targeting strategies and investments where attention is needed most.