When Helping to Feed the Poor, Gov’t Is the Problem, Not the Answer

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The Food Network reran a 2012 documentary called “Hunger Hits Home,” a few days ago. Anyone who watches the Food Network knows that the star chefs spend a lot of time talking about getting involved in your local food pantry and giving to charities that help feed kids in America. You’ve probably heard radio ads that stress that there are one in five American kids that go hungry in this nation, with celebrity pleas for help.

But the program touted a “Hunger Free by 2015” mantra that was one of Barack Obama’s many “top priorities” during his 2008 campaign, and he said so in an interview on Meet The Press on May 4th of that year. In the last few weeks of his campaign, he made a commitment to end childhood hunger by 2015, which became the “No Kid Hungry” campaign. Here it is, almost 2016, and, you’ve guessed it, there are still hungry kids everywhere, and there is no end in sight.  According to the program, nearly 16 million American kids struggle with hunger.

The program visited with several families with hungry kids in and around Plano, Texas. One father and his son were having a tough time because his business was doing very poorly in the fourth year. He said, things were “just about as bad as the first.”

The four children in a family of six, whose mother lost her job, have had to go without eating, sometimes for days. They applied for food stamps, and the father is always looking for more work.

A husband and wife and their two small children lived in what is called a “food desert,” which is usually an inner city area where fresh fruits and vegetables are not found. The husband lost his job and the mother was working, but she could not afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

One terrific lady runs a pantry and spends her days feeding the hungry. She gets money for the pantry, partially from the government, but mostly from private contributors like corporations and charities.

The head of the USDA, Tom Vilsak said that his number one priority was to make sure that kids aren’t going hungry.  There was a graphic that showed 15 food programs that cost $105 billion: National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service, SNAP, WIC, Fresh Fruit Vegetables, Team Nutrition, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care Food, Food Assistance for Disaster Relief, Farmer’s Market Nutrition, Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition, Food Distribution, Commodity Program, Supplemental Food and Emergency Food Assistance.  I count 16, but that’s what they put on the screen.

The actor Jeff Bridges is the spokesman for “No Kid Hungry.”  In the latter part of the program, after every single one of the parents in the families interviewed had said that they would rather have a job than be on welfare, Bridges lamented that there is a stigma about getting government help, and he hinted that it might be better if there was no stigma.

Am I supposed to believe that childhood hunger is in no way connected to the policies of the Obama Administration?  He has been president for almost seven years, and this problem, according to their statistics, is getting worse.

Year after year we hear government and media claim that the economy is doing well, or at least staying strong.  We went from predictions about “saved or created” jobs to millions out of work, and now many are not looking anymore. The administration, through the EPA, IRS, and a host of other agencies actually shut down businesses, creating so many regulations that business and industry cannot survive, or coming up with ridiculous rules that cut people’s hours so that they have a more difficult time putting food on the table.

Every one of those parents in those families just wanted a good job. They want prosperity.  They are willing to work, but the economy is in tatters. The fact is, there are millions of families who would rather work than get a handout, so why emphasize the handouts?

The nature of this administration is to halt growth. That impacts families, and little kids. Yet, the television program prodded the viewer to help pass more USDA programs, and encouraged viewers to write their congressman and demand more money for them.

What would truly turn back the number of hungry would be to promote prosperity, industry and business, and cutting corporate taxes so businesses could expand. This would also stop major corporations from moving overseas.

People, especially the one’s interviewed for this program, don’t want government. They want jobs.  People in government want more government so they can have more power over the people.

Give to your local food pantry. Help someone in need, but don’t think government handouts will solve the problem.  In the most important ways, especially about this topic, our current government is the problem.

Jen Kuznicki is a wife and mother, seamstress by trade, and American patriot who says, “Now is the time to act.”

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