Monday, November 29, 2010

Food Insecurity

I’ve been hinting at ranting less and I will, eventually, I hope. But in this the season of what Mary Sanchez calls “national gluttony” [remember when Gluttony was one of the Seven Deadly Sins?] it is “unacceptable that we tolerate a growing number of hungry children.” In classic Federal double speak, the reality of hungry people in this the so-called ‘greatest nation on earth’ is called “food insecurity.” Cool! Food insecurity. I guess calling it that makes it easier for the food secure to ignore it. That’s kind of like changing the name of the War Department to the Defense Department – it just makes everything easier to swallow.

Food insecurity impacts 50 million Americans and means that these people “worry if they or their children will eat that day, or if what they can afford will be adequate.” Yes. And what can they afford? Not the healthy organic stuff. No. What they can afford is the greasy, salty, fatty sugary stuff – fries, coke and a big mac. The greasy, salty, fatty sugary stuff is priced lower, thanks to our Federal taxes subsidizing huge agri-business corporations, than water, fresh fruit and vegetables. Could this have anything to do with the ‘epidemic’ of obesity? Duh!

A Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is now pending in Congress. Will our ideologue politicians and their political terrorist allies, terrorists because Republican Senators and Congressmen are in mortal fear of a so-called Tea Party challenge on the right, so will not do anything vaguely compassionate for fear of being labeled ‘socialist,’ kill this, too?
What is ‘leadership’ about if not standing up for kids? “Passing the bill would help rectify this atrocious statistic: One a typical school day, more than 55 percent of the children who qualify for free or reduced-rice school breakfasts don’t get one.

“We’re a country that wisely demands children must attend school until a certain age. And with No Child Left Behind, we’ve laid down some pretty tough expectations about performance. But it’s doubtful we’ll meet those goals until we also enact No Child Comes to Class Hungry.” Quotes are from Mary Sanchez’ article, “Hunger shouldn’t exist here,” in the Miami Herald last Tuesday.

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