Food is the first and most important thing a human being needs. People must have it at fairly regular intervals and equal amounts throughout the day — nothing else matters until you’re fed. It is equally vital to each individual — the rich, the poor, the strong, the weak, and even the person who was born somewhere else (although still on the same planet). Skin color and home address have no effect on a person’s need for food.
That’s why recent cuts in food assistance programs are so wrong. And that’s also why 71 different community organizations recently sent a letter to Governor Inslee and state legislators asking that State Food Assistance, geared toward immigrant children, be restored. Included in the groups that signed the letter are API CHAYA of King County, the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Pierce County.
According to The Children’s Alliance, the program helps feed an estimated 12,000 children in Washington state, for families that come from places such as Mexico, Eritrea, Vietnam, and the South Pacific.
Sure, the recession hit everyone. Some people can’t afford that vacation to Mexico. Some folks have to make their old winter coats last another year, or put off buying a new car, or have pizza delivered less often. But a recession that forces children to go without food is cruel, unnecessary, and easy to solve.
We hire gardeners, housekeepers, babysitters, carpenters, plumbers, and mechanics to take care of our problems.
Well, hungry children are our problem, too. Let’s hire the government.
Cuts in food programs impact children and the elderly the most — two groups that represent everybody’s future.
With luck, we are all headed toward old age, and it would be nice to know that we won’t go hungry. Who will feed us then? Today’s children. And it would be nice to know that they grew up well fed and physically, emotionally, and developmentally able to take on the important tasks of tomorrow, including the care of old people.
Maybe only wealthy people deserve to own yachts or live in mansions or drive fancy cars. But all people should have access to daily food. Seventy-one Washington state community organizations know that. It’s in everyone’s best interest. After all, a well-fed kid isn’t going to be thinking about how to steal your lunch money. (end)