Education
FILE: Schools lunches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
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FILE: Schools lunches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
Credit: FLICKR PHOTO/USDA (CC BY 2.0)/HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/AYDFWG

Teacher strikes mean no food for kids who depend on school meals

The first day of school was canceled today in Tukwila.

Teachers there are on strike negotiating a deal with the district. 

That means students who rely on school food for meals have to find other options.

Nichelle Page helps kids experiencing homelessness sign up for free and reduced breakfast and lunch. 

This morning she walked into work to find six new voicemails representing five families and two unaccompanied youths.

Out of 2,700 students, Page helps about 334 kids find food, toiletries, and transportation to Tukwila schools. 

She says she supports the teacher strike, but is worried about those students.


Nichelle Page has worked for Tukwila schools for 20 years. She says she never thought she'd see a strike.
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Nichelle Page has worked for Tukwila schools for 20 years. She says she never thought she'd see a strike.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO / Casey Martin

"I am frustrated, because this is the time of year where kids are so excited to come back to school because this is where a lot of the times their stability is," Page said. "They know that they're gonna get a breakfast they know they're going to get a lunch."

Last year, Tukwila saw almost a 400 percent increase in students experiencing homelessness.

Tukwila Pantry, a local foodbank, says it's seen double the number of families it usually serves this past week.

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