The stories of hungry kids are in the news all over the state this week. In the Seattle P-I today the Editorial Board noted the invisibility of childhood hunger in our state:
“Hunger among Washington's children can be hard to detect. Their teachers may only notice inattention and crankiness.”
The Board goes on to call the Children’s Alliance “invaluable”, and urge our lawmakers to put into action the steps we lay out in the Plan to End Childhood Hunger.
Yesterday the Seattle Times Editorial Board called out the struggles of families to pay the cost of school lunch – and noted that kids grade four and above are still waiting for the legislature to eliminate the reduced price lunch co-pay.
Today the Spokesman Review in Spokane carried a great story about how nearly impossible it is to feed a family a balanced, healthy diet on a tight budget. The article quotes the Children’s Alliance’s very own food policy expert, Linda Stone, and highlighted the expansion of food stamp eligibility that will go into effect on October 1st. The expansion, which was a big victory in the 2008 legislative session, will open up food stamps to 23,000 more families.
Another article in the Seattle P-I also told the story of the rising need for food stamps – and the new opportunity for households to apply starting October first.
And this morning, on KOMO news radio, two different stories highlighted the expansion of eligibility for food stamps and the school lunch programs.
It’s not a common experience to open the newspaper, (or the e-mail inbox) and see such widespread attention to the struggles poor families and poor kids face every day. Let’s make sure our legislators and candidates for Governor take note. It's essential to put feeding hungry kids on the short list of priorities during the next legislative session. If you haven’t signed the Children’s Alliance Stand for Kids Petition to the gubernatorial candidates, sign now.