TAKE ACTION: Act to expand Pre-K access; Food Stamp use soars

REMINDER

The current issue of Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters, our coalition’s
newsletter is available on-line at
http://www.hpjc.org/images/stories/November_2009_newsletter_web.pdf
It may take a minute to come up because of the color photographs.

ACT FOR PRE-K ACCESS FOR LOW INCOME KIDS

Across the country, more than 70 percent of three and four year olds have no
access to publicly funded early education programs. Half a million of these
children come from low-income families. And state budget cuts across the
country have led to reductions in pre-kindergarten and other early learning
programs.

Send a message to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to support the Early Learning
Challenge Fund (see below for explanation). She has sympathy with children
(Sen. John Cornyn doesn’t, so don’t bother with him).

You could just copy and paste the following message into an email to Sen.
Hutchison and send it to her at senator. Be sure to put
your name and address at the end. Or—-even better—-you could call her
Houston office, 713.653.3456, and leave the message that you want her to
support funding for the Early Learning Challenge Fund, which is part of H.R.
3221.

Thanks for acting on behalf of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers.

Message to send Kay Bailey Hutchison

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the Early Learning
Challenge Fund (ELCF), an important part of the Student Aid and Fiscal
Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221). Now it is on the Senate’s agenda, awaiting your
vote. This legislation would provide crucial funding for high-quality early
education, at a time when our economy needs it most.

The ELCF would require qualifying states to set quality standards in early
education programs across the country and raise the level of participation in
these programs among disadvantaged children. An investment of this nature would
help thousands of our nation’s three and four year olds enter school ready to
learn.

The fund would provide grants to proven programs. We know that only
high-quality early childhood education yields the large return on investment
and positive outcomes for families and communities that both taxpayers and
policy makers are seeking.

The Obama administration and the House have made strong commitments to early
education, but some are saying that the Senate might block this funding. As
your constituent, I hope you will take a leadership role in passing this
funding. We owe it to our children to make this investment to best prepare them
for school, their careers and their lives.

Please support the Early Learning Challenge Fund in the Senate version of H.R.
3221. I thank you in advance for your vote, and I look forward to your
response.
[Your name here]
[Your address here]

FOOD STAMPS USE SOARS
JOIN AN ON-LINE CONFERENCE ON HUNGER DECEMBER 8

One in eight Americans are now depending on Food Stamps to stave off hunger.
For children the figure is twice as high: 1 in 4. In 239 counties, at least a
quarter of the population is using the program. In all, about 36 million are
getting Food Stamps, and new applications are increasing at a rate of 20,000
per day.

Even so, only two-thirds of eligible folks are enrolled. Those of us who are
service providers or gatekeepers to services should make sure our qualified
service populations all are getting the help they need to enroll.

Last year, the program name was changed to the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program, or SNAP.

To join a December 8 "webinar," or on-line conference on hunger being presented
by the Coalition on Human Needs, use the information below to register.

One in six Americans is in a struggle against hunger.
A Webinar: Tuesday, December 8, 2:00 – 3:00p.m., Eastern time

Register today: http://www.bostonconferencing.com/chn/register

In just one year, the number of people in households that sometimes lacked the
money for enough nutritious food rose from 36 million to 49 million – the
highest number on record. Among them were 17 million children – 4 million more
in 2008 than in 2007.

This is called food insecurity. The recession is making it worse.
It is hurting children.

Learn more:
• What the USDA food security survey means
• How to use the data compellingly, simply, and accurately
• Research showing how food insecurity hurts children
• What policy choices can halt this very disturbing trend
Presenters:
• James D. Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
• Dr. Deborah Frank, Founder and Principal Investigator, Children’s
HealthWatch; Professor of Pediatrics at Boston U. School of Medicine and
Director of the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center
• Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs
• Moderator: George A. Braley, Senior Vice President of Government
Relations and Public Policy, Feeding America

To register for the webinar, click here:

http://www.bostonconferencing.com/chn/register

You will receive information about connecting to the webinar (by computer and
phone) after you register.

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