famously junk-food-eating president of the U.S. apparently wants
millions of children to follow in his footsteps, endangering their
health and their development into adulthood, as his government eases
toward more fast food for school lunches and drops 700,000 from food
has been a long struggle for Americans to learn that food in its
original form is the best, but the food industry has developed ways
to take advantage of farmers and farm workers and they have, over
decades, convinced people that processed foods are the best for them
and they're convenient. That's the sales pitch, but it is quite
clear that hamburgers, pizza, and french fried potatoes are the best
and easiest for all, including children. That's the fare the Trump
Administration wants to see on the menu of every school in the
country. Highly processed foods are highly desirable, if you were to
believe the actions and directives of the U.S. Department of
known is the obsession of Donald Trump to overturn every regulation
and policy that was achieved by Barack Obama, his predecessor. It
isn't just that Obama's limited successes in intelligent regulations
tended to hamper the piling up of profits of Trump's compatriots in
the 1 percent, rather it's because they were achieved by the nation's
first black president. Trump could not tolerate that, not from
before he was inaugurated, but with increased ferocity after he swore
his oath of office. That's what could be expected from a president
who has tried his best to show that he is not a racist. But, his
acts in power give that away and he can proclaim all he wants that he
is not racist, but his vicious policies and executive orders have
exposed his racism for all to see.
is with that in mind that the changes in school lunch programs and
the cutting off of food stamps from nearly a quarter of a million
needy families that the school lunch program changes must be viewed.
After all, the changes to higher quality and higher nutritional value
in school lunches was a primary goal of Michelle Obama, in her fight
against obesity, especially in children. In that, she was successful
and school lunches improved, offering more vegetables and fruit and
fewer foods that offered more fat and empty calories.
officialdom threw up its collective hands and declared that there
would be even more food waste in schools if higher quality lunches
were offered. That turned out not to be true, since even the USDA in
a recent report showed that so-called “plate waste” was
just about the same with the healthier breakfasts and lunches as it
was before. His return to obesity-inducing food for school
breakfasts and lunches is simply a reflection of his contempt for
common sense and decency. There are millions of families in the U.S.
who need those meals for their children and need the food stamps (now
known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) to put
some food on their tables. Even so, there are untold millions who
are food insecure, if not hungry every day.
the Washington Post noted recently in an editorial: “Nearly 14
million U.S. children, about 19 percent, are obese, with an increased
risk of diet-related chronic diseases that threaten their health and
longevity.” One would have a hard time separating the the
effects of the standard American diet and the healthcare crisis that
exists today, and which especially affects the poor and marginalized.
They neither have easy access to regular health care or to healthy
food, living in what are called “food deserts,” where
there are few supermarkets or other means of buying health food.
What is available to them are convenience stores that provide
places like Native American reservations are found the worst
conditions in the country and those conditions are so bad that, on
the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, life expectancy is about
52 years for women and 48 for men. It's not only food deprivation
(these are, indeed, food deserts on a grand scale), but deprivation
of the amenities of life, such as running water, heat in the bitter
cold winters, and housing that keeps out the constant winds. Food
stamps are necessary in reservations, but all of the other
substandard conditions must be addressed some day, for these
conditions are the direct result of policies of the government and
its unilateral abrogation of treaties that were signed the
century-before-last. There isn't much of a word about these most
vulnerable people from the Trump Administration, as it shamelessly
seeks to find money in the budget for a southern wall and the bloated
military. Taking it from budgets for the poor and elderly, the
disabled, and the children seems to them to be the easiest way to
find the money.
make matters worse, the Trump Administration set out work
requirements for food stamp recipients, which is what is expected to
cause hundreds of thousands to lose the small benefit. About 80
percent of the USDA's $151
billion (2017) budget goes
to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) program. Since the cuts will
save the USDA about $5.5 billion over five years, a very small
percentage of the department's annual budget. There may be nearly 40
million living at the poverty level in the U.S., but there might be
another 40 million who are living from paycheck to paycheck. That's
a large percentage of the entire population of the nation. The
question to be asked is: Where are the well-paying jobs in
manufacturing and industries that were promised by Trump before he
Administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to
make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part time jobs with
unreliable hours,” according to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
“Seasonal holiday workers, workers in Northern Michigan’s
tourism industry, and workers with unreliable hours like waiters and
waitresses are the kinds of workers hurt by this proposal.”
Stabenow is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture
and she has noted that there was an attempt to add work requirements
to SNAP within the past year and it was rejected by overwhelming
margins by both houses of Congress. In the Senate, the vote against
was 68-30 and in the House, 330-83.
a reason Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly rejected this
callous proposal in the Farm Bill and instead focused on bipartisan
job training opportunities that actually help families find good
paying jobs,” she said.
reason that those well-paying jobs are not to be found: It was
another con-job of Trump and another lie that manufacturing jobs
would be flooding back to the U.S., as if we didn't know that
Corporate America was taking millions of jobs out of the country for
decades before he came along, but he probably didn't notice, since he
was busy trying to make millions in New York and elsewhere and trying
to avoid bankruptcy. He failed at avoiding bankruptcy and we don't
know how much of a failure he is at making money, because he refuses
to release his tax returns.
lunches, food stamps, hunger and deprivation in the country he
purports to lead, to Trump, all of this is like an alien language.
To him, those who have not “made it,” as he has are
“losers.” And, if people are hungry and food insecure,
to him they are such losers that they are beneath his notice and his
policies and orders show it. Pity the land.