A Year with Food Lifeline: Adventures in the World of Grassroots Advocacy

The end of a wonderful year with Food Lifeline…
August 12, 2010, 4:44 pm
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The past couple months were busy and full of excitement as I worked to set up new programs and software that will help grow Food Lifeline’s advocacy involvement around key hunger issues. However, amidst all my new projects, time seemed to fly by and my year of service with Food Lifeline came to an end before I knew it!

I have now moved to Portland for another year of service with JVC and am gradually moving in and beginning work at my new job placement. Though it was sad to leave Food Lifeline, I am excited to hear about the future growth and engagement that will come as Food Lifeline’s next Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator begins next week. Though this is the end of my blogging days, you can continue to stay updated on Food Lifeline’s advocacy work by visiting the new advocacy page on our website! It is full of information on our latest campaigns and ways you can stay engaged.

Remember, positive change is only possible if the people who care speak up. So keep raising your voices to help end hunger!


Last chance for county funding!
May 13, 2010, 10:53 am
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The King County Executive introduced a proposal for a public safety sales tax increase of .2%, which the Council will vote on May 17. The County has the authority to expand the proposal up to .3%. By exercising full authority and adding another .1%, the Council could secure $25 million in funding for community health and human services.

What is at stake?

More and more families are struggling to make ends meet during the economic downturn. Food Lifeline, along with several other programs, is trying desperately to keep up with an increase in demand, as tight budgets have forced a decrease in funding. Just this year, Food Lifeline lost all its funding from the county in the 2010 budget. For every $1 lost, Food Lifeline could have provided 4 meals for struggling families.

Without prioritizing dedicated revenue for human services, and doing it soon, vital services like hunger relief will continue to experience cuts. Thousands of families across the county depend on our services along with many others to help them meet their basic needs. Essential programs must be supported in order for much needed services to be available.

Now is the time.

Right now, the King County Council has the chance to say YES to prioritizing people in need. By introducing a full .3% increase, desperately needed funding can be secured and put towards strengthening human services, and the tax as a whole would be more likely to pass. Polls have shown that 52% of respondents would be more likely to support the measure if it included provisions for human services.

We must remind the Council that meeting people’s basic needs is a public safety issue as well. A healthy, sheltered, and well fed individual is much less likely to commit crimes of desperation. Therefore, let’s dedicate funds to prevention and not just enforcement!

Speak up!

Contact your County Councilmember before May 17th vote, and let them know that you support a full .3% sales tax increase. You can find your councilmember and their contact information by visiting http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/Councilmembers.aspx.

Sample Message:  “My name is ____ (name) and I live in ____ (neighborhood or city). Please use your full authority and support a full .3% sales tax increase. I would vote for this increase if it makes it to the ballot! During these difficult economic times when people are greatly in need of assistance, it is more important than ever that the County prioritize community health and human services and work toward a dedicated source of revenue. Money put towards meeting basic needs now prevents crimes of desperation and saves money spent on enforcement later. Please, take this chance to raise revenue and strengthen our county.”

1,000 Postcards for Child Nutrition

Just a few days ago members of the Advocacy Team and I met with Congressman Jay Inslee to deliver the 1,000 postcards Food Lifeline had collected in support of improvements to Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

The Child Nutrition Act is the piece of legislation that governs school and summer meal and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (commonly known as WIC). Over the past few months, our volunteers and supporters have been signing and collecting postcards saying that they want lawmakers to strengthen child nutrition programs to reach more children in a more efficient way, and with more nutritious foods.

Thanks to our hard work collecting postcards and our in-person visit, Congressman Inslee has signed on to the EASY Access bill to help more kids have access to community meals year-round. What an advocacy victory!!

We owe you a World of Thanks!
March 29, 2010, 3:19 pm
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Here at Food Lifeline, the work we do of feeding hungry people wouldn’t be possible without our thousands of supporters and volunteers…so every year we try to do something to commemorate everyone’s contributions and give people a chance to get to know us better.

 That’s why we are having a “Picnic in the Warehouse” for our annual “A World of Thanks” event! This free event is on Thursday, April 15th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in our newest warehouse, just south of downtown. We hope you’ll join Food Lifeline, Washington’s largest hunger relief organization, for this free open house event and celebration of the contributions of you, our supporters, neighbors and friends, to feed hungry people in Western Washington. There will be:

  • Creative activities inspired by Food Lifeline’s programs and people
  • Picnic-style refreshments
  • Foot-stomping bluegrass music courtesy of Northern Departure
  • A warehouse of fun for the whole family


WHEN: Thursday, April 15th, 2010  5:30-8:00pm

WHERE: Food Lifeline’s Seattle Distribution Center (4011 6th Ave. South, Seattle 98108)

WHAT: “A World of Thanks: Picnic in the Warehouse”


Warm, outside clothing strongly recommended.

RSVP online by April 6th.

Olympia Moves into Special Session
March 12, 2010, 5:15 pm
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Yesterday, March 11, was the last official day of the 2010 Washington State Legislative Session. However,  due to the overwhelming work to be done finalizing the State’s budget and revenue package, the legislature will move into a special session, which will start on Monday, March 15 at noon.

Fo more details and up-to-the-minute news on what is happening during Olympia as the special session progresses, visit the Capitol Record blog.

Make sure the Washington State budget prioritizes hungry families!
February 22, 2010, 6:14 pm
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Tomorrow, the House and Senate are releasing their draft versions of the state budget.  NOW is the time to let your legislators know what items are most important to you.

The following budget  items are essential to ensuring that families in Washington State have access to nutritious meals all year long:

  • Funding for Washington’s front-line hunger relief programs: During this difficult economic time, it is more important than ever to have adequate funding for key programs such as WIC, EFAP, senior meals, and school, summer, and childcare meals. Urge your legislators to protect funding for hunger relief programs when they are needed most.
  • Community capacity to address summertime child hunger: The summer is often a difficult time for families whose children rely on school meals during the rest of the year. Supplying just $250,000 in grants would leverage $4 million in federal funding, providing more outreach dollars for these vital summer programs and doubling the number of Washington kids receiving summer meals. Urge your legislators to support $250,000 in grants for summer meals.

Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to tell your legislators to protect and add this vital funding, and to take a balanced approach of revenue with efficiencies to make this funding possible. As the State budget is being finalized, your legislators need to hear from you. It only takes a minute to call and protect hungry families across the state.

Sample Message: Take a balanced approach to Washington’s budget. Protect funding for hunger relief programs when they are needed most, and add $250,000 for the Summer Meal Program to feed hungry kids all year long.

There are only a few weeks left of this year’s state legislative session. Take action now!!

Hunger Action Day 2010
February 4, 2010, 4:52 pm
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Food Lifeline staff and volunteers gather in Olympia

Last Friday, January 29th, over 150 advocates gathered from across the state for Hunger Action Day in Olympia. Attendees took part in an advocacy training and legislative briefing, and then heard an inspiring speech from guest speaker, Rep. Eric Pettigrew (37th District). Participants spent the afternoon meeting with their legislators to discuss the importance of prioritizing hunger relief during these difficult economic times. The participants came from a diversity of backgrounds and represented 32 of the 49 state legislative districts, and all together attended meetings with 89 legislators!

It’s not too late to join the action and let your legislator know that you care about ending hunger too. Simply call 1-800-562-6000 to tell your state lawmakers to “Please protect funding for hunger relief programs when they are needed most.” The legislative session is full swing, so act now!

For more details and photos of Hunger Action Day, visit the Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition’s blog.