Free school meals will be extended to an additional 92,000 students and more publically funded preschool slots will be available to eligible families
Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2022) – Save the Children Action Network, the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, is excited by all the Washington legislature accomplished for kids during this year’s session, which ended today.
HB 1878 passed with bipartisan support, extending free school meals to an additional 92,000 students. School nutrition plays a vital role in combatting childhood hunger by providing kids with regular, healthy breakfasts and lunches during the school day to ensure they thrive in and out of the classroom.
“With one in three Washington families with kids lacking access to nutritious food during the pandemic, we wholeheartedly applaud Washington’s legislators for passing HB 1878, and Governor Inslee for signing it, as it will have a tremendous impact on thousands of children and families throughout the state,” said Christina Ko, Washington State Manager at Save the Children Action Network. “It was inspiring to witness the strong bipartisan support this important bill received in both the House and Senate, demonstrating the shared commitment to end child hunger in Washington.”
The legislature also expanded the state’s publically funded preschool program – the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) – creating more school-day and summer preschool slots.
“ECEAP’s expansion is another incredible win for Washington’s kids and families. The additional preschool slots will certainly elevate financial burdens from many families, many of whom are still struggling with pandemic-related economic hardships,” continued Ko. “We commend the legislature for yet again acting in the best interest of Washington’s youngest children – our future.”
Save the Children Action Network advocates in Washington sent over 1,000 constituent emails and 500 handwritten postcards to their legislators supporting these child-centric provisions throughout the legislative session. They also published a series of letters to the editor and op-eds, and met virtually with lawmakers.