Saturday, September 24, 2022


The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.


Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Groups Fill Food-Access Gaps in WA School District


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   

When school districts are not able to provide summer-school classes, it can have a big effect on how children get meals. Case in point: the Mount Adams School District in the Yakima Valley, where staffing shortages mean about 800 kids won't have breakfast and lunch meal options this summer.

Groups like Yakima Valley Partners for Education and the Peacekeeper Society are stepping up to fill the gap, in communities like White Swan and Harrah.

Suzy Diaz, collective impact director of Yakima Valley Partners for Education, said a confluence of issues is leading families to choose low-quality foods.

"Families will go for low cost but also low nutrition, because it's something that is easier for families to access," Diaz explained. "Our hope is that we can all work together to support the families during this time."

Diaz pointed out inflation and high transportation costs are putting pressure on local families. Her organization provides food access which is culturally relevant for the region, with its high percentage of residents of Latin heritage. She added they have to cancel their event this week because of a heat advisory.

Carmen Mendez, food access network director for Northwest Harvest, said they have been asked to support families in the Yakima Valley and are trying to find ways to help, even as they deal with their own supply-chain issues. She noted there is a sad irony to this situation in the region.

"They're surrounded by apple orchards as far as the eyes can see, and hops and everything else," Mendez observed. "Yet they don't get to experience or enjoy any of that bounty of the valley."

Mendez emphasized a new Northwest Harvest distribution site in the Yakima Valley should be set up by December, when the group hopes to partner with local farmers to provide food access.

Diaz added families are in a difficult situation, but are thankful for the support they're receiving.

"It's always nice to see people come up and be very surprised and express their gratitude for just having community rally around them," Diaz concluded.

About one in six Washington children lives in a household facing challenges to putting enough food on the table, according to Northwest Harvest.

Disclosure: Northwest Harvest contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …

Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …

Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)


Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …


A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021