Advocates Gather in Nashville to Urge Legislative Action on Child Hunger, Early Childhood Education

March 6, 2024


For Immediate Release Media Contact: Nathan Garcia ( 

Nashville, TN (March 6, 2024) — Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) advocates from across the state gather at the Tennessee State Capitol today to voice their support for legislation to address urgent child care and child nutrition needs.  

Overall, 60 advocates from Memphis to Kingsport have convened in Nashville to stress the urgency of child hunger and the need for access to child care in their home communities. Many of these volunteers are stepping into this space for the first time because they and their loved ones have been impacted by child hunger, the need for affordable child care, and oftentimes, both. It is vital to our children that our legislators understand the growing needs of their constituents. It’s time for Tennessee to make real investments to alleviate child hunger and address the child care crisis. 

Seizing the opportunity of Tennessee’s legislative session, SCAN advocates are urging bipartisan support on two transformative solutions. The Promising Futures last dollar scholarship program (SB750/HB785) would make child care more affordable, set children up for success, and help parents get back to work. Advocates will also rally support for school meals for all children across Tennessee (SB208/HB255), asking for lawmakers to unite in addressing food insecurity among school-age children.  

“Access to both affordable quality child care and nutritious meals help to foster healthier Tennessee kids,” said Katie Growden, SCAN Tennessee State Manager. “We urge political leaders to prioritize children during the remainder of the state’s legislative session, and improve outcomes for children by passing The Promising Futures last dollar scholarship program and School Meals for All.” 

With one in eight children in Tennessee experiencing hunger, and 80 percent of Tennessee  

parents of young children reporting work disruption due to child care problems, the most pressing issues for families have significant impact on the state’s economic outcomes. Research shows addressing child hunger has proven links to long term well-being and success, and that child care is just as important for economic outcomes.  $2.6 billion is lost annually in earnings and revenues for parents, businesses and taxpayers due to inadequate child care. These legislations propose a comprehensive approach, informed by their link to future success for children, families, and Tennessee’s economy. 

In addition to the meetings with lawmakers on Wednesday, SCAN is activating a paid ad campaign in support of Promising Futures. With mobile billboards, website banners on publications, and targeted social media advertisements, SCAN is hoping to expand awareness, and illustrate that these are investments worth making for children in Tennessee. 

Access to affordable quality child care, and programs that alleviate hunger for children are vital for the physical and academic well-being of countless children in our state. SCAN calls on all community members, stakeholders and legislators to rally behind the Promising Futures last dollar scholarship program (SB750/HB785) and School Meals for All (HB255/SB208), to make a collective effort prioritizing the well-being our state’s children. 


Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) was created in 2014 as the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a strong start in life.  

Learn more about SCAN here: