Monday, August 30, 2010

Food Fight!

"Food fight!!"  Those who are of a certain age will fondly recall the late John Belushi nealry inciting a riot with those two simple words in National Lampoon’s raucous comedy Animal House.  But as parents and students settle in to the new school year, there is another, more insidious food fight brewing: that between lunch versus dinner...or, more accurately, nutrition versus finance.

"In the effort to raise Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids, we don't want to risk compromising their dinner to improve their lunch."  This was the sentiment recently expressed by Nancy Rice, president of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) in the wake of the announcement that Congress had passed the Child Nutrition Reauthorization legisltaion that would, in essence, fund child nutrition programs by slashing SNAP (food stamps) benefits.  In a signed letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one hundred six Representatives expressed outrage at being "forced to choose between jobs and healthcare or food for hungry people."  The signatories went on to say, "This is one of the more egregious cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is a vote we do not take lightly."  The bill, passed by unaniomous consent without debate or a voice vote, would add an additional $4.5 billion over 10 years to, among other things, improve meal quality for school lunches.  More than $2 billion of the added funds to the school programs will be generated by reducing food stamp benefits.

The latest studies show that, as of May of this year, participation in the food stamps program reached a record high 40 million people.  Incidentally, the program has set records for participation for 18 straight months. As we brace for the crunch that increased need, coupled with decreased food stamp benefits will undoubtedly cause, we urge you to continue supporting the Food Bank and other organziations throughout Yolo County who work diligently to feed our community's hungry and chronically poor residents.  To learn more about the various ways you can help, please contact us today at (530) 668-0690 or visit us on the web at:

(Data Courtesy of Foodlinks America)

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