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It was great to read “Mercer Street Friends Food Bank wants to send hunger packing” (Nov. 23), about local business and community leaders’ responses to child hunger. But, if some Washington, D.C., lawmakers have their way, the problem may get worse despite local efforts.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food for more than 20 million children, and it works. The childhood hunger rate would be much higher without SNAP. Making food more affordable also reduces child poverty, because fewer parents must make the heartbreaking choice between paying the rent and putting food on the table.
Some in Congress have proposed deep cuts to SNAP; with 47 cents of every SNAP dollar going to children, there’s no way their plan won’t deny food to kids.
Yes, the federal government has budget problems, but hungry kids didn’t cause them, and making child hunger worse is the wrong way to solve them.
The writer is president of First Focus Campaign for Children
The First Focus Campaign for Children, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, used Montes' situation this year to push for two new laws in California aimed at preventing family separations triggered by deportation. Spokeswoman Yali Lincroft predicted Tuesday's ruling in North Carolina will set a legal precedent other courts will pay attention to.
"Hopefully, this case will make the child welfare system aware of due process, so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again," Lincroft said.
An analysis of nationwide election eve poll released today by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows overwhelming support from Latino voters for a wide range of federal investments in America’s children at levels higher than voters of all demographics and political affiliations.
Ultimately, the report makes clear that investments in things like education and workforce training, nutrition assistance, health care, and affordable housing create pathways to the middle-class in an economy where too many jobs just won’t get a person there. These investments also make long-term fiscal sense. Child poverty, for example, costs our economy more than $500 billion annually in increased health care costs, worse educational outcomes, lower worker productivity, and increased criminal justice expenditures. A very modest investment in low-income families is associated with significantly higher earnings and work hours per year when children in those families reach adulthood. (The people seem ahead of the politicians on this front: an election eve poll by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows that 82 percent of voters—including 76 percent of Republicans—want Congress and the White House to deliver a plan to cut child poverty in half within ten years.)
By Jon Gould and Bruce Lesley
As Mark Blondin observed, federal budget sequestration has dangerous consequences for Washington [“Fiscal cliff would kneecap our military,” Opinion, Nov. 14]. But only half of sequestration’s impact is on defense. Nondefense cuts will also hit Washington’s economy hard, costing nearly 25,000 jobs.
Why? Because sequestration makes deep cuts to critical investments in Washington children and families. Nearly 77,000 Washington families would lose health services through the Maternal & Child Health Block Grant, more than 16,000 would lose quality nutrition through WIC and more than 18,000 children would lose educational help. Cutting services carries particular harm for children of color, who make up a majority of babies born in this country and are already poorly served. Hard times and austerity budgeting is a double-whammy our children can’t take...
Among the Voices founders and supporters recognized in addition to Fox were former Virginia first ladies Jinx Holton, Anne Holton, and Jeannie Baliles, as well as former governor Linwood Holton. Board member Eleanor Saslaw was accompanied at the gala by her husband, Senator Dick Saslaw; and Congressman Bobby Scott received special mention for an award he earned from First Focus Campaign for Children.
It was the second consecutive year that Scott has received the national "Champion for Children” award, said Morgan – and he was the only member of the Virginia delegation to do so.
Scott Lewis ("Remember the hungry as holidays approach," Oct. 24) rightly urges readers to join the fight against hunger. But, if some Washington politicians have their way, childhood hunger may actually get worse.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP - provides food for more than 20 million kids. And it works - the childhood hunger rate would be much higher without SNAP. Making food more affordable also reduces child poverty because fewer parents must make the heartbreaking choice between paying the rent and putting food on the table.
Some in Congress have proposed deep cuts to SNAP, and with 47 cents of every SNAP dollar going to children, there's no way their plan won't deny food to kids.
Yes, the federal government has budget problems. But let's remind the politicians that hungry kids didn't cause them, and making child hunger worse is the wrong way to solve them.
Editor's note: Lesley is president of First Focus Campaign for Children in Washington, D.C.
He was a strong support of the law that expanded the Children’s Health Insurance Program which was signed into law in February 2009 to provide health-care coverage to more than 14 million children.
During the debate on the health-care reform law, Casey helped to include provisions to protect and improve health care for children.
His work on behalf of children has been widely recognized. He has been received the Champion for Children Award from First Focus, Children’s Champion Award from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children Champion for Young Children Award.
With the exception of candidates bemoaning the number of Americans on food stamps and out of work, the subject of poverty didn’t get much of an airing during the presidential debates. When a coalition of advocates against child poverty asked President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney to lay out their plans in a Sept. 4 letter, they heard crickets.
Bruce Lesley, the president of First Focus Campaign for Children, agrees, saying, “Chairman Ryan’s actions — spearheading a budget that cuts the Child Tax Credit, dramatically increases the number of uninsured children, cuts investments in child abuse and neglect prevention and response, cuts child nutrition, and increases out-of-pocket child care costs for working parents — speak a lot louder than his words, when it comes to addressing child poverty.”
Regarding the recent news story, "Anti-poverty message spreading in Richmond's faith community," it's encouraging to see local residents getting involved in the fight against poverty. But Virginia's congressional delegation has an important role to play, too -- especially for kids.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit lift nearly 5 million children out of poverty every year. Both bipartisan credits reward hard work. And both put money back into Virginia's economy, helping parents buy food, clothes, and other basics from local merchants. Yet both will expire in their current forms at the end of this year, and with elections just a few weeks away, politicians are focused elsewhere.
Virginia's leaders in Congress need to hear that they must protect these lifelines for working families. Their decisions will determine whether child poverty gets better or worse. And, for Virginia's kids and Virginia's future, there is no more important choice.
President, First Focus Campaign for Children.