Our Priorities in Olympia

Download 2017 AHNC Legislative Agenda

2017 Legislative Agenda:

Expand Access to School Breakfast in High Need Schools:
Hungry kids face extra and unnecessary struggles in school – yet feeding kids a healthy school breakfast can have a dramatic impact on their academic, health and economic futures. Our schools are offering breakfast – but they aren’t reaching the kids who need it most: WA ranks 45th among states in serving breakfast to low-income students. We know how to fix it: when breakfast is part of the school day – just like lunch – more kids start their day with the fuel they need. Requiring very high poverty schools (70% or more low income students) to change their breakfast service time will help students at nearly 400 schools. And clarifying instructional time for breakfast means any school can choose to serve breakfast after the bell.

Making Our Kids and Communities Healthier by Strengthening Washington’s Farms:

Connecting farmers to local schools and other local buyers makes Washington’s kids and communities healthier and makes Washington’s farms more successful.
WSDA created its nationally recognized Farm to School program (working in tandem with the Small Farms Direct Market program) to provide a valuable resource for our agriculture sector, while also improving school meal quality for students. Restoring $250,000 to WSDA’s programs will allow WSDA to meet increasing demand from farmers for the program’s expertise and support in expanding farm businesses to new markets, especially schools.

Equip School Kitchens to Improve Nutrition for Kids

School nutrition staff are often unable prepare and serve healthier food because schools don’t have needed equipment for cooking from scratch.
Apple A Day kitchen equipment grants support school efforts to cook healthier meals for kids. Maintaining $1 million in the capital budget allows schools to prepare fresh, healthy food for students and sustains a smart investment in our schools and in our children’s nutrition.

Fix Our Tax System to Create a Healthy, Prosperous and Hunger-free Washington

Our coalition continues to support reforms in our state’s upside-down tax system. Closing outdated tax loopholes, increasing transparency in tax breaks, and finding new and sustainable sources of revenue are all strategies needed to respond to our growing population and to invest in the foundations – food, housing, schools and health care – that benefit all Washingtonians, especially those who need it most.

2017 Legislative Issues We Support:

Strengthen TANF Funding for Low Income Families with Children

Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) provides cash assistance and an array of work support services to low income families with children designed to promote family economic stability. We support three key strategies to strengthen our state’s TANF program:
Restore the TANF grant cuts so families have more money to meet basic needs.
Raise the limit for vehicles and assets so families can benefit from TANF with resources to help them after TANF ends.
Reduce intergenerational poverty and child trauma by transforming the TANF Oversight Taskforce Committee so they can effectively identify and invest in policies that effectively target poverty’s root causes.

Protect Access to Affordable Housing for Low Income People

Food insecurity and housing insecurity are tightly linked in Washington. One way to fight hunger is to ensure people have adequate, affordable housing. We support key strategies to protect access to housing:
Strengthen homelessness funding: Eliminate the sunset date and increase the amount for document recording fees – the largest source of funding for homelessness services. Now is the time for more and more reliable resources to address the housing crisis facing every county.
Ban Source of Income Discrimination Prevent landlords from excluding renters with Social Security income, disability income, Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers, veterans’ housing subsidies, etc. This discrimination has a significant impact on populations who rely on housing subsidies to make ends meet – they are the same people at highest risk for hunger.

Pass the Fair Chance Act and Improve Access to Jobs for Qualified Applicants

“Ban the box” that asks about convictions in the very first step of applying for a job, so a person can be assesed on their qualifications and skills first. This policy boosts employment and reduces recidivism, saving the state money in both prisons and social services – including anti-hunger programs.

Our Ongoing Commitment: Protect Investments in Nutrition, Health and Economic Stability for People in Need

Our state has created innovative programs and proactive policies that help fight hunger and poverty in our communities. We are committed to protect basic needs, hunger, and anti-poverty programs for low-income people – such as Emergency Food Assistance Program, State Food Assistance, Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, TANF, affordable housing, health care access, HENS/ABD, and others – so these programs can continue to fight hunger and build stable pathways out of poverty.

Click to download Click to download a copy of 2017 AHNC Legislative Agenda.

To read about our past Legislative Agendas, Click Here.