Nutrition First at Hunger Action Day in Olympia
Snow Days Often Mean a Missed Meal
This winter’s weather has been especially harsh. For many American children, this means a snow day. A day out of school is met with joy in many households, but for more than 21 million children this means the lost opportunity to have a one or more nutritious meals. According NPR, “The sad reality is that some kids don’t have access to food if their nutritious meals come from school and they are unable to go to school,” During the late-start mornings, breakfast is typically not served. Many schools have reported an increase in nurse visits due to hunger-related stomachaches.
What is a community to do when the school is closed? Each area is left to manage hunger in different ways. This is through food banks, soup kitchens, and churches to provide hot meals and groceries. These resources are vital even on the sunny days to make up the gap between SNAP benefits and other programs.
Despite a community’s best intentions, sometimes children still go hungry. When schools close because of extreme cold, especially in areas where many families struggle to pay for heat, you have to wonder if closing schools is the best way to go.
Hunger Action Day
On Friday, February 7th Nutrition First was present at Olympia for Hunger Action Day, sponsored by the Anti Hunger & Nutrition Coalition. This was a great opportunity to learn about 5 key priorities and speak the legislators. The key message was “Hungry Kids Can’t Learn”.
Anti Hunger & Nutrition Coalition’s 5 priorities are:
Restore Full Funding to the State Food Assistance Program
Increase funding the Emergency Food Assistance Program
Increase Funding for Farmer Market Nutrition Program for WIC and Seniors
Increase Participation Rates in Washington’s School Breakfast Program (Breakfast after the Bell)
For more information on these legislative priorities go to: http://www.wsahnc.org/our-priorities-in-olympia/
Take Action: Here’s how you can help our hungry children get the food and resources they need?
Please contact your legislator by visiting leg.wa.gov and let them know your concerns. We need to ensure that our children are receiving the nutrition they deserve to grow & learn.
By Mea Newman