Helping Hungry Families- Articles of a Career Journal

Rereading this newspaper clipping, I noticed I underlined “Our youngest residents cannot break the cycle of poverty if they enter the classroom hungry and without the basic tools of learning.” I know this to be true as once upon a time, I was that child fighting to get nutrition to grow, learn, and thrive. Therefore, I find myself cheering for Murray to bring the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act to reality. It will provide families who have children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. This EBT card will include funds that the family can use to purchase food to replace the meals that the children would otherwise be receiving at school. I also find myself pissed off that we even need such a bill living in America, the land of the free. As a human being and a social worker I have personally found the best way I can help is volunteering to be a youth gardener (teaching kids how to grow food), and donating to my local food bank. I encourage my students and every other individual if you read something that hits a chord with you, act on it. That is how change begins.

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A HALLWAY inside Seattle’s Yesler Community Center came alive Tuesday as hungry children rushed inside and formed a line. They uttered quick thank yous as their little hands reached for a tray containing a sandwich, sliced veggies and apples.

The lady handing out their meal was none other than U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in town to promote expanding summer lunch programs across the country for millions of kids from poor families.

Without assistance from public and private sources, such as United Way of King County and Northwest Harvest, many children might have to function on an empty stomach.

In Washington, about 305,000 children struggle with food insecurity, meaning they don’t always know where their next meals will come from. The problem is worse in summer, when only about 10 percent of eligible students are able to access food programs.

With the start of school days away, the parents of these children are also scrambling for money to pay for backpacks and school supplies.

Our youngest residents cannot break the cycle of poverty if they enter the classroom hungry and without the basic tools of learning.

Congress should ensure that Murray’s Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015is enacted. This measure would provide more families — especially those who live far from summer lunch sites — with debit cards to be used at food stores.

Seattle Times readers can also donate to the editorial board’s annual school-supply drive, which takes place through Labor Day weekend.

Proceeds benefit children receiving services from Hopelink, YWCA Seattle King Snohomish and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

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One Response to Helping Hungry Families- Articles of a Career Journal

  1. Pingback: Extra Money and Home Project Dreams | Real Life of an MSW

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