I don’t know about you, but I made the usual New Year’s resolutions. You know the ones about losing some weight (not through a 16-day fast however!!) and exercising more. I made one more and I hope you’ll join me in it.
I resolved not to let millions more people go hungry in 2018.
Last fall I did a 16-day fast to highlight budget cuts being discussed in Congress that could have meant taking 50 million meals a year away from Hoosier children, veterans and seniors for the next decade. Thankfully the year ended without those cuts being made. Congress has made only a few changes to budgets.
The one major thing they passed was the widely discussed tax changes. There are grand hopes for these changes that they will stimulate the economy, but almost everyone agrees the changes will also hugely increase the Federal deficit. Some people will see tax cuts, especially the wealthiest Americans. Unfortunately, some leading Republicans are saying we need to reduce the deficits by cutting SNAP and medical coverages.
The economy is good. Some people are getting better jobs and no longer qualify for SNAP and other Federal programs, which is wonderful. However many people, though working, still need food assistance and some even qualify for SNAP. We have seen in Marion County that while the number of people in deep poverty has been reduced, the number of people needing food assistance has not declined. Causing folks to go hungry is just as repugnant now as it was when the economy was in the tank.
No matter the circumstances, there is never a good time to be hungry. We must not be lulled into thinking that if times are good for some, our job is done.
Like me, your resolution to lose weight and exercise more may have long ago fallen by the wayside, but please make a new resolution: not to let millions more people go hungry in 2018.
Call or write your legislators and tell them that widespread hunger is unacceptable. Ask them to support the nutrition programs, and not to cut SNAP, WIC or international development assistance. NOTHING you can do will make more of a difference this year. http://www.bread.org/write-congress