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Kendall urges legislators to support expansion of school breakfast program

Dennis Kendall, former mayor of Marysville, right, met with Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett) as part of the United Ways of Washington Lobby Day on Thursday, Feb. 13. - Neil Parekh/United Way
Dennis Kendall, former mayor of Marysville, right, met with Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett) as part of the United Ways of Washington Lobby Day on Thursday, Feb. 13.
— image credit: Neil Parekh/United Way

OLYMPIA — Dennis Kendall started his day earlier than usual on Thursday. That’s because the former mayor of Marysville, who is still looking out for the community’s best interests, joined almost 80 other volunteers for the 8th Annual United Ways of Washington Lobby Day in Olympia.

“I met with Rep. June Robinson and Sen. John McCoy,” said Kendall, a member of United Way of Snohomish County’s Board of Directors. “We urged them to expand opportunities for early learning and to support an exciting program called ‘Breakfast after the Bell’.”

Breakfast is usually served before school in the cafeteria. If you’re one of the “poor kids” who takes part, there can be a stigma. Several schools across the country have made breakfast part of the school day and available to every child. Together, these new models are known as Breakfast after the Bell.

Rep. Robinson (D-Everett), whose 38th district includes Marysville, Tulalip and Everett, said, “I believe that investing in early learning is the best thing we can do for our communities. Everyone benefits when kids get the start they need to be successful in school and life.”

Speaking specifically about Breakfast after the Bell, she added, “I am so supportive of providing breakfast in school for any child who may need it. It’s hard to concentrate and learn when your stomach is growling. This program is a simple adjustment that will greatly benefit kids and teachers.”

“Working with lawmakers to ensure our children succeed in school is a key strategy for us,” said Dennis G. Smith of Stanwood, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County.

According to Katrina Ondracek, vice president of public policy and community initiatives for United Way, there’s no substitute for meeting with legislators in person. “All the legislators and staff are very approachable. It’s important that constituents take the time to represent our community.”

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