Monthly Archives: May 2009

Welcome, Express Credit Union!


Welcome, Express Credit Union, a credit union designed specifically to help the poor and others who don’t trust banks avoid check-cashing fees and payday lenders. Express Credit Union opens today, May 30! And instead of having often-inconvenient branches, the credit union is coming to the people. One branch will even be located just above FamilyWorks, in Solid Ground! So congratulations to ECU, and we look forward to some rave reviews. For more information, click on the photo or link below.


Business & Technology | Credit union aims to help people break the payday-lender cycle | Seattle Times Newspaper.


Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks News, FamilyWorks' Community, Poverty

FamilyWorks Annual Campaign Begins TODAY!

FamilyWorks’ Annual Campaign begins today! We need to raise $90,000 to continue to offer our many services to the community. Please visit our website today to make a donation, or call us at 206/694.6727 for more information. Thank you in advance for your support of FamilyWorks!

FamilyWorks, a food bank and family center, nourishes and strengthens individuals and families by connecting people with support, resources, and community.

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  • We all need food, connections to others, and access to information and resources to thrive.
  • Without the help of food from the food bank, many families would face even tougher decisions about whether to buy food, pay bills, or buy medicine.

“For now I ask no more than the justice of eating.” ~ Pablo Neruda.

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Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks News, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Fundraisers, Hunger & Food Security, Just for Fun, Parenting, Parents of School-Aged Children (5-12), Parents of Young Children (Ages 0-5), Poverty, Teen and Young Parents

A Dubious Honor for WA State – Child Food Insecurity

Washington is in the upper half of the list of states – which, in this case, is a dubious achievement. We rank 18th in the nation for highest child hunger rates for children under 5. Even more alarmingly, we rank 12th for children under 18. Our rates are approaching 20%! Please consider supporting your local food bank to help alleviate these stunning statistics. We provide food to families, helping children and other members of our community receive the nutrition that we all deserve. FamilyWorks begins our 2009 Annual Campaign tomorrow! Check back for more information, or call us at 206/694.6727. If you can’t help financially, please consider donating a smaller item, like bus tickets to help our customers reach the food bank without having to pay. Check our Wish List (click on the tab just under our purple logo) for up-to-the-minute requests. Thanks as always for your help!

Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005 — 2007 .

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Filed under Advocacy, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

Washington Receives School Lunch Grant

Washington State has applied for and received a grant to determine efficacy of its school lunch program, especially for nutritionally at-risk students.

Release No. 0158.09.

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Filed under Advocacy, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Parenting, Parents of School-Aged Children (5-12), Poverty, Teen and Young Parents

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, Champion Feeding America Food Bank Supporters

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Filed under Advocacy, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

Baltimore’s New School Lunch Concept



Tasting Baby Radish Greens

Here’s an inspiring story on Tony Geraci and the Baltimore Public Schools. Together, they’ve begun several greenhouse farms to incubate plants for Baltimore schools’ own gardens. Then they will grow produce to serve in restaurants – giving the kids a first-hand look at food issues and how food gets to their forks. Moreover, Geraci’s farms are supplying fresh produce for school lunches, helping revitalize a free- and reduced-lunch system that leaves many of Baltimore’s kids hungry or disgusted – and thus unable to learn. Check out the article if you want to feel happy about food and Baltimore and kids. Want to bring such a program to your child’s school? Good news: if you live in Seattle or Highline Districts, you may already have such a program……

Baltimore’s Head of School Lunches Is Transforming the City’s Program –

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Filed under Advocacy, Hunger & Food Security, Parenting, Parents of School-Aged Children (5-12), Poverty, Teen and Young Parents

Interesting Things on Teeter-Totters

 Did you know that FamilyWorks likes Teeter-Totters? Neither did we. But we do. We like this one, anyway. Thanks to Seattle Weekly for its photo of the day. And no, this isn’t FamilyWorks’ building, but we just thought it would be nice to lighten your day a little bit. Oh yeah – one of our mascot dogs, Stripey (see earlier posts on dog food banks for photos) loves the teeter-totter in agility classes, but we don’t have any photos of him on them to share. We just thought you’d like to know.


Porta-Potties on Teeter-Totter (Seattle Weekly Photo of the Day)


The Daily Weekly – Undeterred by Bad Weather, Porta-Potties Enjoy Teeter-Totter – Seattle Weekly.

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Filed under Just for Fun

NY Times Finds Piecemeal State Aid Systems



 This probably comes as no surprise to you if you’ve benefited from state or federal aid, or if you work in the human services, or if you are familiar with the programs. ProgramS? Yes. Each state has different requirements, regulations, and amounts of aid available to its residents. Furthermore, many of those programs don’t come from one form or even from one building/agency!

A food benefits alum, I received food stamps during my AmeriCorps year of service to the state of Washington. Received is actually the wrong term. I had to fight for them every three months, proving that I was working but not too much. At one point, I took a third job, earning an extra $100 a month or so. I had been receiving $125 in food benefits, but the extra income put me over the line. I didn’t just lose $100 in food benefits; I lost the entire $125 – so, like an intelligent person, of course I quit the third job to earn an extra $25. I share my story with you to highlight some of the inefficiencies in the system. Others include having to take the bus to a really inconvenient location, meaning I had to miss a half day of work every 3 months, and having to wait hours in line without moving (lucky I didn’t have small kids with me!) and filling out forms that didn’t make any more sense the fourth time than they had the first (and I speak English, too!).

Many of our food bank and resource center patrons have similar (or worse) stories. Some need help attaining their legally-deserved benefits, because the system is so confusing. We can’t help but wonder – how will the fragmentation of DSHS into even smaller departments (and presumably areas of buildings if not entirely separate buildings, in addition to separate confusing forms), supported by our representative Frank Chopp, affect this already-patchwork system?

Click on the photo above or the link below to see the NY Times story for more information.

The Safety Net – For Victims of Recession, Patchwork State Aid – Series –

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Filed under Advocacy, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

Food Fight in Everett

Well, this is one response (courtesy of Mill Creek High School) to food security and hunger issues in America. We think this might be a good idea to spice up our FamilyWorks staff meetings. What do you think? Oh wait – of course we don’t condone food waste OR violence, so I guess that won’t work. Still, I personally like the thought, because I have a feeling I would win…. But seriously, what do you think of the consequences imposed?

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Filed under Advocacy, Hunger & Food Security, Just for Fun

Breaking News Response to Teen Pregnancy

One Oregon high school has just approved (albeit narrowly) a measure to reduce its teen pregnancy rate (currently at least 14/300) by allowing the public health department to write prescriptions for birth control to students on-site. Students will not need parental consent to obtain a prescription; however, their parents *will* be notified once those prescriptions are filled.

The Daily News Online > Breaking News > Oregon school district will give birth control to students.

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Filed under Advocacy, Parenting, Poverty, Teen and Young Parents