Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

Communities in Support of State Food Assistance

No child should go to school hungry. No elder should have to cut back on food to pay rent.  But since the 50% cut to State Food Assistance went into effect last summer, more immigrant families are struggling against hunger.

Read about one families' struggle to survive after the cuts.

In the 2013 legislative session Children’s Alliance with many community partners is again calling on legislators to restore equal benefits for State Food Assistance. To give strength to the campaign, we are launching a “Communities in Support of State Food Assistance” letter to our legislators. 

The goal is to gather signatures from organizations in every corner of Washington, representing our diverse communities. your organization is invited to join in. For questions, or to add your name please contact Siobhan Ring, Mobilization Director at siobhan@childrensalliance.org or 206.324.0340 x13

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Dear Esteemed Washington State Legislators and Governor Inslee,

We are coming together from all around Washington State, from diverse communities, to call on you to restore State Food Assistance to equal benefit levels with Basic Food.

State Food Assistance is Washington’s smart answer to hunger. For more than 15 years, Washington has strategically leveraged national resources to make sure that food stamps reach families in need.

But now our food security network isn’t working like it should. During the recession, Washington legislators slashed State Food Assistance benefits for thousands of children growing up in immigrant families, nearly all of whom are children of color. At a time when an estimated one in four Washington children live in food insecure households, the cut to State Food Assistance deepens racial and economic inequality.

The cut to State Food Assistance (SFA) hurts vulnerable children and elders the most. Children make up half of the Washingtonians in households that receive State Food Assistance. Many are seniors. Singling out immigrant children and elders to suffer in hard times is simply not fair.

Our quality of life in Washington depends on our ability to make sure kids have what they need to grow up healthy and strong. No matter where you’re from, or what you look like, in America all of our children should have opportunities to learn and succeed so they can grow up and be the strong leaders, workers and parents our future depends on.

But hunger is a roadblock to opportunity. Hungry children can’t learn. The ties between hunger, poor health and learning are well understood. If we continue to send children to school without the fuel they need for academic success, we continue to let the opportunity gap swallow up our future.

In our communities we see the impact of the cut. Families are telling us that with the cut in SFA, they can’t get even the basics of what they need. They are forced to cut back on food so that they can keep the rent paid and have transportation to work.

Cash-strapped families are skimping on the grocery items that build our kids’ bodies and minds and keep elders healthy--- items like fish, dairy, veggies and whole grains. Visits to food banks can’t fill the holes left in family budgets by the cut, and food banks in many of our communities are overwhelmed by the rising need.

This legislative session we urge you to restore the integrity of our food security system, and restore State Food Assistance to equal benefits with Basic Food. It is a move in the right direction for Washington State.

Sincerely,