Another Hunger Action Day has come and gone, and as always, it was a day full of action and passion! Each year, the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition organizes an energetic lobby day that brings together anti-hunger advocates from across the state. Created as a day to help people speak directly to their elected officials, Hunger Action Day brought over 100 passionate advocates to Olympia on Monday, January 23.
Hunger News and Trends
There is a lot of uncertainty in light of recent election results. In the words of Congressman Jim McGovern, an avid anti-hunger advocate, “the war on the poor is underway.” Moving forward, it is reasonable to expect policy changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and block granting of Medicaid, SNAP and its related programs, and the Head Start program.
Washington State has a breakfast problem. More specifically, Washington State has a problem when it comes to ensuring low-income children have access to breakfast year-around. In February, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released their annual School Breakfast Scorecard, which measures how many low-income students participate in the federally funded School Breakfast Program.
Every September marks Hunger Action Month. The whole month is dedicated to raising awareness about hunger and food insecurity in our communities. Today, 1 in 7 people in Western Washington struggle to fill their plates, their cupboards, and their stomachs. Several of our partner agencies held community-wide events during the month of September to fight hunger and raise awareness in the towns, cities, and counties where they live and work.
The latest food security data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that the food insecurity rate has continues to fall but still has not reached pre-recession levels. Nation-wide, 13.7% of households were food insecure in 2015, a significant decline from the 2014 rate of 15.4%. The number still remains above the pre-recession food insecurity rate of 12.2% in 2008.
Hunger and Health is a trend that Food Lifeline has been tracking for some time now. Recent studies have shown that there is a clear link between not having access to healthy food and an individual’s health. Food Lifeline’s Hunger in America 2014 survey revealed that nearly half of Western Washington’s food bank client households have someone living with a chronic illness.
Summer is an exciting time, but for some families it’s a time of uncertainty. More than 300,000 children in Western Washington don’t have access to the meals they normally get at school, leaving many families in a difficult situation.
At the end of June, our Public Policy team paid a visit to some of our partner food banks in Pierce County. Taking the day to explore, we visited the Sumner Community Food Bank, the Eatonville Family Agency, SE Tacoma FISH, and St. Leo’s Food Connection in Tacoma. We also had a few special visitors stop by some of the food banks with us!
How can kids learn if they are hungry?