Child Advocates Meet with Leaders in DC, Call for Investments in Kids
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Advocates for child well-being are in the nation's capital today, calling on lawmakers to invest in children.
The Save the Children advocacy summit is gathering people from around the country to speak with members of Congress. They are focused on early childhood education and child hunger.
Suzette Espinoza-Cruz, senior early-learning education specialist for the City of Seattle and volunteer advocate with Save the Children, supported a mutual aid campaign in her community to deliver meals to kids during the pandemic. Espionoza-Cruz pointed out the pandemic's effects linger.
"Unfortunately, the inequity gaps that we saw in the dark times of COVID and the food insecurity that existed during the pandemic continues today," Espinoza-Cruz observed. "But legislation can help improve the livelihoods of kids and families."
Espinoza-Cruz noted she is meeting with Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Seattle Congressman Adam Smith.
Save the Children is focusing on two policies affecting children's lives. The first is the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, a voluntary program providing resources and education to parents as they are raising their children.
Roy Chrobocinski, managing director of federal domestic policy for Save the Children, said the program needs to be reauthorized by the end of the month to continue.
"They also need to put a lot more money into the program," Chrobocinski asserted. "It only serves about 5% of eligible children and families. And so what we're asking Congress is to reauthorize this program for another five years, but also to invest more in this program so more families can take advantage of the services that are offered."
Chrobocinski added his organization is also urging members of Congress to support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with investment. He argued the program is especially important for families right now with the price of food increasing due to inflation.
"We all know that children, they don't donate to political campaigns. They can't vote," Chrobocinski remarked. "It's critical that the people who we brought here this weekend and this week share their stories and make it clear to members of Congress the importance that investing in children can make in children's lives."
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