"When members of Congress debate whether to slash the food stamp program, they should ask if they really want more small children arriving at school having skipped breakfast," columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in his latest piece for the New York Times.
Appropriately, he quotes Children's Health Fund co-Founder and President Irwin Redlener, MD, who confirmed that cuts to the nutritional safety net will show up on kids' report cards.
The cuts will cause anemia and educational difficulties among students, Dr. Redlener said, adding that a drop in funding "represents a clear threat to the nutritional status and health of America’s children.”
This summer, Children's Health Fund launched the EVERY CHILD A CHANCE campaign to alert Americans to the impact of untreated health problems—including hunger and poor nutrition—on students across the nation. Join the EVERY CHILD A CHANCE campaign to advocate for policies that ensure every child in America is healthy and ready to learn.
Kristof notes that more than 90 percent of food stamp benefits go to families living below the poverty line. He also cites federal data showing that 14 percent of American toddlers suffer from iron deficiency.
Slashing nutrition benefits "wouldn’t be a sign of prudent fiscal management by Congress," he concludes. "It would be a mark of shortsighted cruelty."
Photo by Le Liz, flickr.com