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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

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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