Those Kids Could Be Hungrier

Sesame Street, the children’s television show that has for decades addressed early educational needs especially for inner city children, has always been at the forefront of combining learning skills with diverse and everyday situations made palatable to the preschool set.

As the economy has worsened and more American children than ever before are struggling with poverty, lack of health care, stable housing, and having enough to eat every day, the show has introduced a new character to help kids understand the issue of food insecurity.

But conservatives have belittled the addition.  After all, American kids aren’t literally starving — they get to eat most of the time, right?

Amanda Marcotte notes a National Review columnist who thinks that not having enough food everyday really isn’t that much to whine about. “[T]he idiom ‘food insecure’ — a term created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — means one has either ‘reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet’ or ‘disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.’ So, far from hungry or starving, Lily suffers from a much less dramatic condition — unpleasant to be sure, but at its core, just a somewhat boring, irregular, and occasionally reduced diet.”

An “occasionally reduced diet” is “unpleasant?”  Unpleasant is when you added too much salt to the soup, or when your broccoli gets a little overcooked.  Food insecurity is about children who only get meals when they show up for school, who have to choose between having lunch or dinner on a weekend because there isn’t enough groceries for both.  Kids who never get to see a fresh fruit or vegetable or only get to eat what their parents bring home from work at the end of the day after waiting tables in restaurants or working the counters of fast food.

The columnist then mentions all of the myriad of places that the poor can get food easily — WIC, food stamps, free school meals, charity food banks and “church-run food assistance.”  All of which, except for the church groups, the conservatives have been doing their best to defund while they defend tax cuts for millionaires.

Then again, they are trying to defund PBS as well, but that doesn’t seem to stop her from having her child watch Sesame Street.


Related Stories:

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Record 1 in 5 Americans Now Needs Food Stamps

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


W. C
W. C15 days ago


William C
William C16 days ago

Thank you for caring.

Kim C.
Kim C6 years ago

I live in MIssouri in a county that is in the top 5 for hunger in the state. I know a LOT of families use food stamps and many get WIC. Food costs are high and selection is small. Most kids get free school lunches. There is a lot of effort to make sure the kids get fed. The local schools even serve lunch during the summer and any kid under 18 will get lunch.

Jobs here are mostly seasonal. We have great summer recreation, rivers, trails for people and horses

What I can't understand is that these people vote republican. They vote anti-abortion but can't see that they are also voting against themselves in all other areas of their life.

Daniel Kelley
Daniel Kelley6 years ago

"Fresh fruit is now the number one snack among kids aged 2 to 17."

I decided to post the source of that info nugget I dropped here in response to Cynthia T.'s propaganda begging government involvement in parental food choice. Apparently American parents don't need snack Nazi's like Cynthia T. suggests in her wild claims that parents are mainlining their kids with transfat, yellow 5 and mercury contaminated high fructose corn syrup.

Daniel Kelley
Daniel Kelley6 years ago

Made a little typo, this sentence in that other comment I made should have said:

" Rockefeller published for a whole century was his plan. First he called it Eugenics, meaning those he didn't value should die or be thwarted from reproducing."

"like Rockefeller published for a while century was his plan."

Daniel Kelley
Daniel Kelley6 years ago

Scarlett, what a damn neocon you are. Stop sending food out of the country? The problem isn't free trade or charity. The problem is food DISTRIBUTION. The problem is the billionaires stole all the money out of the economy by decades of closing US production, in this paradigm of cash for food most people endure, when the billionaires intentionally bankrupt the masses, the masses starve to death or more accurately die of diseases related to their extreme malnutrition. What a swineful bit of propaganda you posted there, pointing over seas like hungry mouths in Africa, suffering due the efforts of the same abusive billionaires, are a problem for children in the US, like food charity is what's wrong, rather than the billionaires intentionally starving people to death, like Rockefeller published for a while century was his plan. First he called it Eugenics, meaning those he didn't value should die or be thwarted from reproducing. Then he called it "population control" about the time Nixon appointed him to the "population council". Now he's deep in the throws of it imposing "depopulation" on Earth, by war and financial chicanery. The billionaires are the problem. Earth needs enjoy 0 billionaires, then that be maintained for all time. No more serving tyrants, no more cash control of society. The world needs DIRECT democracy and CALORIE ECONOMICS.

Bruce G.
Bruce G6 years ago

It upsets me to see comments like the one by Kathy P; " The world is such a sad place," or by Myra D.; "...I have nothing to add but my futile anger." No offense, but these comments sound like giving up. Like surrender. We can't let this attitude prevail. Not now.

Kathy P., the world is NOT such a sad place. We have allowed others to make it a sad place for us. WE have stood by and let it happen because we trusted the wrong people to act in everyone's best interest.

Only WE can change that, and we must. OWS is only the beginning. Kathy P, take Myra D's impotent anger and make it potent!! Force change! We have to do it ourselves!

Che Gueverra defined revolution as a 'change of heart.' Perhaps the first change of heart is realizing the world can be a beautiful place and that we all can, and must, have a hand in making it one. We have already seen what happens when we leave it up to someone else!

Daniel Kelley
Daniel Kelley6 years ago

Well Cynthia, you float this propaganda that food stamps are wasted on junk food and should be restricted use, yet you provide nothing to back this wild assertion and the opposite is the truth. I read a couple years ago, that for the first time in a long time, FRESH FRUITS were the #1 snack choice in America. For decades cookies trumped fresh fruit as snack choice in America, but just a couple years ago, the tide was changed and parents started feeding their children fresh fruits. Presumably parents that choose fruit over cookies, also choose fresh vegetables for their children often. Regulation that would benefit society regarding food, would be an effective FDA that enforced clean up or forfeiture of the farms recently polluted with coal ash that the EPA now claims has "beneficial use" adding mercury and lead and arsenic to farm fields. Beyond that all the known carcinogens in the US food supply might be regulated out of existence as food. Same for all the neurotoxins and accumulative metals that are nutritionally needless and immune suppressors that are in the food supply presently. All the toxic dump that is baked into processed foods every day, all that sh*t might be halted with the force of some job expansion and get the money for it by prosecuting the billionaire murderous criminals that do all that toxic baking.

Cynthia T.
Cynthia T6 years ago

I agree with Janis. Food stamps are essential to many families who are low-income, but many parents are spending precious dollars on low-nutritional items and processed foods. I wish food stamps would cover NON-processed food items, like milk, bread, flour, sugar, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, etc. Parents need to start making nutritious meals for themselves and their children. I haven't purchased conventional foods for years. I make everything from scratch and it's cheaper. Yes, it's a little more work. Get up a little earlier to make a meal or prepare meals on the weekend and freeze for the week. If there's a will, there's a way!

myra d.
myra d6 years ago

Awesome comments. I have nothing to add except my futile anger.