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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Anti-hunger advocates call for action at WA Capitol

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Thursday, February 1, 2024   

It's Hunger Action Day at the Washington State Capitol. Advocates are in Olympia to meet with lawmakers and call for policies that curb hunger.

Director of the Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition, Claire Lane, said families in the state are struggling with high food, transportation and housing costs.

Her coalition is urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would provide free breakfast and lunch for kids at school.

"Nine states have passed legislation across the country that provides meals for free for all students," said Lane, "and we really want Washington to be the tenth state."

Lane noted that Washington is among the states that approved the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program, which was passed by Congress and helps provide low-income students with food during the summer.

She said the state should invest $9.6 million in the program to get it up and running this year.

Lane said the state should also invest $15 million in food banks, which are seeing increasing demand.

"We know foods banks are really, really struggling," said Lane. "We are getting reports from food banks that they are seeing more clients in a month than they had at the worst of the pandemic."

Along with food assistance programs, Lane said the state should also pass a bill that protects tenants, ensuring rent can't rise too fast and other consumer protections.

"We know those are the kinds of things that are sending people to food banks and making kids hungry," said Lane. "When you don't have stable housing, when a bigger and bigger share of your paycheck is going to rent and to gas to get to that job, people cut back on their groceries."

The Washington state legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on March 7.




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