July 2 2012
Praise for Summer Feeding Programs Masks Massive Parental Neglect
There’s no doubt people are in need of food assistance. This ongoing recession has hit families hard and now with the passage of Obamacare, businesses will likely put off hiring as they prepare for the onslaught of new Obamacare-related regulations and taxes.
Since nothing is likely to improve in the near future, it isn’t surprising that food stamp use is at a record high and that communities are working hard to find ways to help hungry children. USA Today covers this issue and focuses on programs that are trying to find more creative ways to bring food to an estimated 19 million hungry U.S. children. The story says that the programs “offer a safe location for children to eat lunch, and get free food to take home to their families.” The story also quotes the director of one food bank saying: “If you take a bunch of food and go to a spot, only a certain number of kids can get there.”
Talk about burying the lead!
While some might find it super fascinating to read about the logistical struggles these aid organizations face trying to get food to these needy children, is not the bigger story here the fact that packs of children appear to be running around looking for these feeding spots? Is there not a somewhat bigger story in the fact everyone thinks it normal that children are being fed at federally-funded feeding centers without their parents present? Maybe a more interesting story would be that the country is facing an epidemic of parental neglect?
Because, let’s not forget, Americans are given a significant amount of food assistance—assistance with which they can feed their children. Over 46 million Americans now get food stamps. And for those who still fall through the cracks, there are a number of other programs like WIC, the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program not to mention the massive school feeding program—a program that provides three meals a day in nearly every school in the nation.
Those who promote these programs will continue to suggest children will starve without these programs (an issue I addressed here and here), but the reality is, while well intentioned, these programs further detach parents from their most basic responsibility: feeding their children.