Thanks to your continued advocacy, the Washington House and Senate have finally passed the Breakfast After the Bell bill this year and will soon be signed into law by Governor Inslee! This is a big deal for thousands of children from low-income families who will now get a healthy start to their school days. You made it happen — so take some time to pat yourself on the back! It didn’t happen because our senators or representatives were feeling extra generous this year. It happened because of many years of persistent organizing and advocacy from many organizations like HIP and many individuals like you. Thank you!
Breakfast After the Bell will help more than 30,000 additional students across Washington state access school breakfast every day. That is 30,000 more children who don’t have to go hungry until the lunch hour. That is 30,000 more children who will now be able to focus on learning instead of their growling stomach, because of you.
With all of our meal and educational programs, we see people who benefit from our work directly. When we serve meals to children, parents, or seniors, or when we conduct a cooking and nutrition education class, we can see the satisfied faces of the participants and feel good about making a difference. When we advocate for policies that address hunger in our communities, there is no instant gratification. Sometimes we don’t know if we are being heard or if our advocacy is making any difference at all. Sometimes it can take years before we can start seeing any changes. But when change does happen, it can change the lives of many, many more people than we can ever hope to achieve with our limited resources.
It’s important to remember that not only does hunger not have to happen, but also that it happens because of deliberate policy choices our lawmakers have made over the decades at local and federal levels. Hunger is not a happenstance. Therefore, to address hunger, we have to change those policies and replace them with the right policies that put people’s priorities first. We aren’t rosy-eyed idealists. We don’t have any illusions that change would be easy or happen overnight. But we know that if we don’t fight, change is not going to come. So the only option we have is to fight for our values and we will. Thanks for being with us in that fight!