No child living in America should be hungry, and denied access to school meal(s), regardless of your political views, opinions, or beliefs. The United States is not a third world country or a place on earth where millions are without access to clean water, food, education, or healthcare. In fact, in a nation of excessive waste, indulgence, placing corporate revenue and margins above health, I believe every American adult can find compassion in his/her heart and mind, to embrace that no child should feel hunger pains and despair from the most natural biologic need of being alive.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Proposed Rule, Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will reduce the number of children who are eligible for free school meals. The impact of this is so much more than just about “dollars” saved, but even more critical, the impact on children’s health.
Research shows that without access to food, nutrition, especially in early childhood, this will directly impact a child’s health as we define it “medically”. Thousands of children and families who are eligible for this program are also eligible for other national supplemental food programs and other programs that support healthier foods and food choices. Not having adequate or good nutrition directly leads to more medical conditions which will just cost all of us as we raise unhealthy future generations.
If you are reading this article, ask yourself, if any child is unable to focus due to experiencing hunger, I doubt they are best able to focus on education and learning nor whatever is necessary to achieve optimal health and childhood development. Furthermore, imagine the impact on thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and actions due to hunger and a lack of access to food.
Those of us who are so blessed to never have to face hunger, whose children have never been at risk of being hungry, should do whatever is within our abilities to help others. Children do not get to choose if they are born into a family that is struggling and is at or below the poverty line, wherever that may be. Adults joke about being “hangry”. Imagine being child who lacks food security, imagine if that was your child.
Make your voice heard, contact your local representatives, learn about what the current administration is doing, then make your vote count at the next election.