Hunger Action Day – January 22, 2016 – by Brooke Pugliese, Nutrition First Board of Directors
“In the U.S. today, 15 million children face hunger – that’s 1 in 5. Chances are someone your child goes to school with struggles to get enough to eat.”
Wow! Is this reality? Yes, it is! On January 22, 2016 I met with others who were passionate about these Legislative issues in the Columbia Room at the Capital. We were given a brief overview and introduction to the 2016 legislative session and how to have our legislators support our priorities. We only have about 15 minutes to speak with our legislators, so Nancy Amidei, with the UW Civic Engagement Project, got everyone ready with advocacy tips and pointers on how to talk effectively with lawmakers.
Legislative Issues For Hunger Action Day:
– Breakfast After the Bell
– Restore Farm to School/Small Farms Funding
– Restore TANF grant
– Ban Housing Discrimination on Source of Income
– Fair Chance Act
After we were briefed we were sent off to be an advocate for these topics and speak with our legislators. The first legislator I was to meet with was Senator Tim Sheldon, he was unavailable so I met with his Legislative Aide. She invited me into a cozy room and we sat and chatted mostly about Breakfast After the Bell and how many children go to school without breakfast and if breakfast was served in the classroom this could be a huge impact on the way children learn and could even lead to higher test scores. As we all know, children who are not starving tend to be more focused in school. She was very attentive and thankful that we are advocating these topics. She took the “leave behind” packets and said she would give them to Senator Sheldon.
My second legislator I was meeting with was Drew MacEwen, again he was unavailable, but I spoke with his Legislative Aide, Josiah. I explained what topics we were advocating for and he said that Drew MacEwen was the 2nd signature on the Breakfast After the Bell Bill and fully supports the other topics as well.
After I met with the Legislative Aides, I returned to the Capital Room and filled out Thank you cards for the Legislators and Aides. And I reflected on what an impacted these bills would have on helping reduce hunger.
On February 1, 2016 I received an email saying that the bill “Breakfast After the Bell” was passed by the House. (As of February 16, the bill has not yet been heard by the Senate).
What a great success! Thank you to everyone who spoke with your legislators and dedicated your time and effort for ending hunger.
Please Take Action – it’s easy! If you are passionate about supporting the community and becoming an advocate you can write letters to the newspaper, Congressmen and organizations in your area to help support your cause.