12-15-2019  12:55 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

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EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

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Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

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Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

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Man convicted of hate crime for punching transgender woman

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man convicted of punching a transgender woman has been sentenced to probation. Dominick Gonzales, 38, changed his plea Friday and was convicted of first-degree bias crime for punching the woman in Northwest Portland in September, Multnomah County District...

Oregon Supreme Court upholds district attorney suspension

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court upheld a decision to suspend a district attorney for lying to investigators. Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley will be suspended from practicing law for two months beginning in February, the court ruled Thursday. The ruling upholds...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former Gary, Indiana, Mayor Richard Hatcher dead at 86

Former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher, who became one of the first black mayors of a big U.S. city when he was elected in 1967, has died. He was 86.Hatcher died Friday night at a Chicago hospital, said his daughter, Indiana state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, a Gary Democrat. She did not provide a cause of her...

Reparations mark new front for US colleges tied to slavery

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The promise of reparations to atone for historical ties to slavery has opened new territory in a reckoning at U.S. colleges, which until now have responded with monuments, building name changes and public apologies. Georgetown University and two theological seminaries...

AP Exclusive: China tightens up on info after Xinjiang leaks

The Xinjiang regional government in China’s far west is deleting data, destroying documents, tightening controls on information and has held high-level meetings in response to leaks of classified papers on its mass detention camps for Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities,...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than billion in 2012, there were lofty expectations of reviving “Star Wars” in spectacular hyper-speed fashion with a new trilogy that continued the story of Luke Skywalker and other beloved characters.The space saga...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Preservation or development? Brazil’s Amazon at a crossroads

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Under pressure, Hallmark pulls gay-themed wedding ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Under pressure from a conservative advocacy group, The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads for...

Home-cooked food in Iraqi square brings protesters together

BAGHDAD (AP) — In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, there are the anti-government protesters demonstrating...

North Korea says new tests will help it counter US threats

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said it successfully performed another “crucial test”...

White gold: Cyprus' halloumi cheese entangled in politics

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Dairy farmers on Cyprus refer to halloumi as “white gold.” The salty,...

75 years on, Battle of the Bulge memories bond people

THIMISTER-CLERMONT, Belgium (AP) — As a schoolboy three quarters of a century ago, Marcel Schmetz would...

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Kelly Gilblom Uw News Lab

The number of Washington families struggling with hunger has risen through the recession, according to recent report by the Food and Research Action Center.
Nearly one in five of the almost half a million families polled said they struggled to afford food in 2009. The previous year, the hunger rate was 16 percent, two percentage points lower than now.
"The recession really has caused a lot more families to get to the point where they don't have enough to eat," said Linda Stone, senior food policy coordinator for Children's Alliance- a state group that advocates for the wellbeing of children. Intractable parts of a family budget such as rent, utilities and car expenses squeeze out money for meals.
With unemployment rates now in the double digits, it is not a surprise to see more people straining to afford the basics. According to Stone, individuals on fixed incomes, senior citizens with small pensions, those with language barriers or in distant, rural communities and families with young children are the most common demographics that encounter problems affording food.
To cope, many enlist in the Washington Basic Food Program, known as food stamps, or the Women Infant Children Program, which provides basics such as milk and eggs. Children can also sign up to receive breakfast and lunch at public school.
The Basic Food Program, which was revamped in 2008, now allows individuals to apply online and be interviewed for acceptance over the phone. Since the changes, it has seen a 50 percent rise with 850,000 families in the state receiving food stamps to purchase what the program refers to as "basic nutrition."
However, some still struggle to make do, especially at the end of the month, said Stone. They might need to go to a food bank as a last resort.
"You can go to a food bank pretty much every week if you need to. That's how a lot of families get it for the month," said Stone. "And so far they have really been able to help."
Peggy Bailey, operations manager of the Ballard Food Bank, has seen demand rise by 30 percent over the past year.
"A lot of people who are in our lines this year were donors last year," she said.
The food bank, which receives food largely through private donations and grocery store surplus, never turns anyone away.
Though, the common thread through all forms of food handouts is the risk of a lack of adequate nutrition.
"Healthy food costs more," said Stone. "You can certainly afford more top ramen and macaroni and cheese than fresh fruits and vegetables."
Because of underfunding, food programs cannot buy high quality foods.
One of the groups with the greatest food hardships is families with young children. Kids in their early years usually have young parents, which means less time having been established in the work force, and a greater need for governmental help.
Already, 42 percent of eligible school age children are signed up to receive free or reduced priced meal programs at school, according to Stone. Though, only 11 percent of those children enrolled have access to free meals in the summer.
Stone believes the lawmakers can help make a difference in this area. Child nutrition programs are up for reauthorization before Congress this year, so legislators will be required to rewrite the law governing meals available to children.
"We're asking state legislature to provide $250,000 grants to communities," said Stone. "We're in a terrible budget year but frankly we've got a lot of legislators this year who really get it." She said the investment would leverage $3 million to $4 million in federal money.
Washington second district Rep. Rick Larsen, proposed a bill in Dec. 2009 that would also provide after school snacks for children of low-income families. It would function as an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act, expanding federal reimbursement for organizations that provide after-school snacks.
"Our country has a moral obligation to make sure that kids get enough to eat every day," said Rep. Larsens in a Dec. 10 press release. "Improving nutrition for low-income kids helps them perform better in school and avoid serious health problems down the road."
By ticking off the list of available food sources in the Seattle area, it is possible to stay fed, even if it is with great difficulty and without ideal nutrition. However, the greater problem of poverty remains.

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