Hunger Action Day, Monday February 5, brought together nutrition people from all over the state to lobby our elected officials to enact laws that help end hunger. Solid Ground’s Food System Support team and folks from our advocacy partner Poverty Action were in Olympia to participate.
Among Hunger Action Day priorities:
Help More Students Access School Breakfast. Washington state is one of the worst in the nation at supporting school-based meal programs, which give kids healthy nutrition that leads to better school achievement.
This session, we celebrate the passage of Breakfast After the Bell legislation that requires high-need schools to offer breakfast during the school day. The bill designates a public school as having high need if 70% or more of its students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Under the bill, schools that meet this threshold must offer breakfast to students if they arrive after the bell, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The bill creates grants for school districts to start or expand their breakfast programs, according to the Seattle Times.
Restore the Regional Markets Program at the Washington State Department of Agriculture to help Washington growers expand opportunities to sell directly to schools, restaurants, hospitals, senior centers, and other institutions.
Make the Most Out of School Meals: School meals can be made with fresher ingredients when cooked from scratch. Advocates seek $1 million for scratch cooking equipment grants for our schools.
Hunger Action Day is hosted by the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition.