By now you might have heard about Newark Mayor Cory Booker's food stamp challenge. It all started on Twitter, where Booker engaged in a debate over the government's role in preventing hunger. The debate ended in Booker agreeing to live off of food stamps for one week, spending roughly $33 on food. This article praises Booker for his advocacy but cautions Americans and government officials not to lose sight of a more important goal: getting Americans out of poverty.
Back when I was an elementary school teacher in Compton, California, I always kept a supply of snacks in my classroom: A box of Cheerios, apples and oranges, Pop Tarts, a canister of raisins, juice boxes, and granola bars.
Thanksgiving is a special day, but the truth is, I'm extremely lucky. I could stuff my face any day I want. If I'm hungry, I go to the grocery store and buy something to eat.
That's how it is for most of us in America, but not all of us.
This week, we'll be talking a lot about hunger on this blog. I think a lot of us ignore the hunger issue because we think that it's basically taken care of. If you can't afford food, you can get help from the government, right?
There has been very little talk about poverty in this election. Just how little, you ask? So little there was an entire #talkpoverty twitter campaign to try to get the topic front and center at the three presidential debates. No such luck.
I've gotten dozens of press releases in the past few days dealing with the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.
And while I'm not keeping up with every blow-by-blow in the political death match over Congressional spending, I am trying to figure out how families who struggle to make ends meet are going to fare under some of these dueling policies.