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A New Year and Hopefully a Healthier One as Well

Last year the Seattle Healthy Kids Coalition, of which the American Heart Association is a member of, worked with the Seattle City Council to implement a sugary sweetened beverage tax. The tax passed out of the council on June 5, 2017 by a vote of 7 to 1.

The tax went into effect on January 1, 2018 and nearly $15 million in revenue is expected to be generated.

hero_image_alt_text===Three kids holding signs in support of the tax.
thumbnail_alt_text===Three kids holding signs in support of the tax.

The revenue generated will be invested in programs that will help people gain greater access to healthy foods, expanded early learning opportunities, and K12 programs aimed at closing the achievement gap.

Some of the programs that the City Council have already approved funding for include:

  • Fresh Buck ($2,404,359) - increases the affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables to participants of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by partnering with local businesses, farmers markets and healthcare clinics to provide financial incentives focusing on local healthy food assistance. An expansion of Fresh Bucks to Go would provide additional families free or low-cost fresh food bags of local fruit and vegetables every other week at preschool programs serving low-income families across Seattle.
  • 13th Year Promise Scholarship ($1,381,885) - allows local graduating seniors to attend South Seattle College tuition-free for one year.
  • Innovation High School, Summer Learning, Summer Melt ($1,004,500) - helps college-bound high school graduates stay on track – as many as one in five college bound high school graduates fail to arrive on campus in the Fall.
  • Our Best ($189,000) - expand the program supporting well-being of young Black men in the areas of education, positive connections, employment, health, and safety by doubling the amount of mentors funded through the program.
  • Parent – Child Home Program ($525,000) - provides literacy education to roughly 590 two- and three-year old children from low-income families in Seattle.
  • Food Banks ($153,750)

In addition to the programs listed above funding in the amount of $4,120,639 is currently waiting for approval for the programs below:

  • Farm to Table
  • Fresh Bucks to Go
  • Food Banks
  • Out – of School Time Nutrition Program
  • Early Learning Programs

If you would like more information about the tax and the coalition that worked to implement it click here

If you live in Seattle and you took action on our alerts on this issue, thank you! Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy 2018!

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