Food justice and food accessibility is an issue that affects many Black, Indigenous, and people of color across the state, especially during the pandemic. Food is hard to get for struggling families. Access to healthy and sustainable foods is nearly impossible. With the transition of working from home, I have to dedicate more of my paycheck to utilities. It’s hard to scrape up more money for healthy food options, let alone organic and local foods.

Lawmakers can take a step forward in the fight for food justice by passing an updated Working Families Tax Credit (House Bill 1297) during this legislative session. The Working Families Tax Credit would provide an annual base cash rebate of $500 (plus more for kids) to 1 in 6 of the households with the lowest incomes in our state. A policy like this, which provides direct, flexible cash, will help BIPOC families who have been hit hardest throughout this pandemic and years of racist policies get the food and other essentials they need. Food justice is economic justice. Lawmakers must take action to support BIPOC communities by passing HB 1297.

Bennet Vining, Seattle, lead organizer, All in for Washington