As the chair of the House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families, you might expect Missouri State Rep. Cynthia Davis to have a little compassion for hungry families in her state. Well, you’d be wrong. Or as columnist on St. Louis Today wrote:
“State Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, is staking out a strong position on child hunger: She’s for it.”
According to a recent report published by Feeding America, 1 in 6 young children live on the brink of hunger in 26 states in the U.S. and the rate of “food insecurity” in young children is 33 percent higher than in U.S. adults.
But in Davis’ state, it’s worse–1 in 5 children in her state are hungry. Thanks to the recession, more Missouri children qualify for free or reduced school meals–the rate increased by 8.3 percent–well above the national average according to St. Louis Today.
Rather than support an a federal summer program that provides meals to children who qualify for free or reduced school meals during the school year, Davis has some interesting advice for the poor families in her state.
“The right way to solve this is with more education. If parents … don’t know how to serve nutritious meals, let’s help them learn to do that.”
Actually, I think the problem is that parents don’t know how to serve nutritious meals made from air since they can’t afford to serve meals, not just nutritious meals. Food or money would help with that, not education. Education in the form of job training and re-traing could be a long term solution.
Here are Davis’ other tips for poor familes:
“Families may economize by choosing not to waste hard earned dollars on potato chips, ice cream or Twinkies.”
Because of course, hungry families only eat junkfood.
“Laid-off parents could adapt by preparing more home cooked meals rather than going out to eat.”
Really? You think?
“Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break.”
While this may be true, most of those hungry children in Missouri are under the age of 16. This means they cannot legally work at McDonalds in order to get a free meal during work breaks. Good idea though–especially after you expressed so much concern that families feed their children nutritious meals.
The rest of her commentary is laughable and includes an arugment that providing a summer meal program could actually diminish family relationships because going to the “public soup kitchen” for a free meal might break up families.
I know, I can’t explain it either.
My fellow Americans, please, we must stop electing people who think compassion is something reserved for Sunday church services or that government programs meant to stave off the hunger of children are not excuses to “create an expansion of a government program” just for the fun of it.
Here’s some advice for Davis. Hungry children deserve your help and compassion, not your condescension and ignorance.