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Apparently Urban Children Don’t Deserve Food as Much as Rural Children

Apparently Urban Children Don’t Deserve Food as Much as Rural Children

The Republican party is well known for looking for ways to save money and cut budgets, and they seldom have much concern for who they are hurting in the process. Often, sadly, that seems to include children, especially in their bizarre quest against federally subsidized school lunches. We’ve already seen Republicans pan the program, or demand that kids do some form of work in order to earn their food. Now, it appears, they are becoming a little more gentle in their “starve the poor children” stance.

Yes, they are going to finally feed the school children. Well, as long as they don’t live in the city.

According to Talking Points Memo, a new agricultural bill has been signed, and with slightly less opposition than usual. One place where the two parties mostly stopped fighting was in a pilot program that would continue federally funded lunches for low income students over the summer months, knowing that for many, that lunch may be the major source of nourishment for the day.

But not everyone is going to receive this extension. Instead of continuing the original program, the GOP agreed to a new pilot program that was only $27 million, not the full $30 million being requested, and which only applied to rural schools, leaving urban schools out.

Quoting a Politico article, TMP explains: “Democrats were surprised to see urban children were excluded. And the GOP had some trouble explaining the history itself. But a spokeswoman confirmed that the intent of the bill is a pilot project in ‘rural areas’ only.” TPM’s Josh Marshall then asks, “I’m not sure why this isn’t a bigger deal.”

The House Appropriations Committee has responded by saying this isn’t an issue of rural over urban, but a supplementation, enhancing the funding that already exists for the program and meeting needs specific to a rural environment, such as inability to get to food programs because of transportation needs that allegedly urban areas don’t have.

According to Ned Resnikoff, writing at MSNBC, there is a racial issue that might be at play as well. Even if you reject the idea of urban being a codeword for minority, and rural for Caucasian, he argues, looking specifically at the area that the new pilot program addresses, you see that it is a focus specifically on Appalachian region, which Resnikoff notes is “24% whiter than the rest of the country and has a median income which is about 18% lower.”

It also, unsurprisingly, is quite a bit more conservative than the rest of the states it is a part of. In other words, the GOP-backed pilot program is likely to mostly benefit those who are putting more Republicans into Congress.

When it comes to the reasoning behind a push for extra funding for rural areas, transportation seems like a stretch. After all, urban area children have just as much of an issue accessing food, especially when you consider the food deserts that plague large cities, making it impossible for many to access affordable nutritious groceries. Rural children have the added ability to likely obtain food grown close to home, have gardens or trees that they have access to, and other small but meaningful additional resources that urban children won’t be able to obtain.

What it really comes down to is the fact that children shouldn’t be pitted against each other for funding, regardless of where they live, and food insecurity should never be used for political gain. Once more, sadly, it appears that is a lesson that has yet to make an impact on the Republican party.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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81 comments

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9:23AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Food banks are a good assist for those who have slightly too much income to get food stamps, or maybe just $15. a month worth, but there are still lots of people who need foodstamps and way more than they are getting . For those of you who put the 'national debt' higher in importance that feeding people, may your entire incomes be confiscated to help pay it off. And no food stamps for you .You can learn to be decent people, or you can live by the rules you would impose on others.

7:39PM PDT on May 29, 2014

It is disgraceful that the government gives so little money to fund programs designed to help children and instead gives such top priority and major tax cuts to corporations. We always hear that children and the family are important but there are so few programs designed to help them make ends meet. In such a wealthy country as the US children should not be going hungry regardless of where they live.

3:05AM PDT on May 29, 2014

ty

1:06PM PDT on May 28, 2014

noted

2:35PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Noted

1:21PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Hey B R : I have a newsflash for you. I contribute to my local food bank, which is quite large and not in the city. In fact, it is north of Pittsburgh and is considered a rural area, by every definition of the word.

1:16PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Every time I think that the Teapublicans can't show fewer morals and compassion, they come up with a plan that only could be inspired by the devil.

How can people be so naive, as to support them?
It's absurd, to think that they call them Christians, for the most part.

11:42AM PDT on May 26, 2014

We have programs to feed kids in urban areas. That's the point. Putting more money into that at the expense of something else when the country is so deeply in debt is wrong. Urban families have access to food banks that rural families do not. Want to do something...? Donate to your local food bank (I do by monthly allotment); respond to food drives (I do); step up and care for your neighbors and not just the ones next door but those within 20 miles of you. We'll have a much better country without having to sell ourselves to China.

12:06PM PDT on May 25, 2014

The GOP is Sick, Crazy, Evil And Working Against America !!!

10:43AM PDT on May 25, 2014

But I"m going to vote in November and I"m sure 2016 will be beautiful.

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