Deb T has been a long time customer here. Late last night, she send me this —
Just wanted you to know that tomorrow at 1pm, I will be a part of a press conference for Senator Claire McCaskill – aka Todd Akin’s nemesis. You and the other frequenters of Juanita Jean’s have given me the courage to speak at one of these darned things.
Here in Missouri my Presidential vote may not matter but my vote on the rest of the ticket does. Claire’s people seem to think I can help so I will give it my best shot. I am hoping I do not embarrass all of us or make things worse for the Senator. The race is so close and we cannot afford to lose this one.
I asked her if I could put here speech here and she finally agreed to let me. Deb, you go woman. You just go!
Debbie Twyman’s comments on the importance of school lunches 11/1/12
Congressman Todd Akin, said he opposes federal spending for the National School Lunch Program, which provides cash and surplus food for nearly 650,000 school lunches in Missouri each day. I know that there was a lot of discussion about that statement this summer, when the Congressman mentioned it at the annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair. The context of that statement is stunning isn’t it? A man who brings pork back to his own district while simultaneously stating that it should be removed from children’s plates.
When he caught some flak for those statements the 4 Term Congressman tried to walk them back but the thing is his record speaks for itself. Akin was one of just five members of Congress to oppose the bipartisan Child Nutrition Improvement and Integrity Act, which streamlined the process that allows children to qualify for, free or reduced priced school lunches and expanded a program providing local produce to schools. The bottom line is the Congressman’s opposition to school lunches is a long-standing one – it is a part of his record.
I was a teacher in a suburban school district, when I retired a year ago after 31 years in the classroom; almost half of my students were participants in the free and reduced lunch program. Many of these kids were the children of hard working American families, families who were doing everything right, but were still struggling to make ends meet. And here is the scary part, the cut off for a family of four was an income of less than $29,965 or a little bit less than $7,500 a person and many of my kids met it. In many cases, the meals my students ate at school were the only meals they received.
I could sit here and point to research that says that children do not learn well on an empty stomach, there is lots of it out there. Or, I could just ask you to think about a time when you skipped a meal – a time when you were sitting in a meeting or a class and your stomach was growling at you inconveniently; a time when you found your mind wandering because you were thinking about grabbing a bite to eat. Well imagine what it is like for a child coming to class on a regular basis with an empty stomach, particularly if that is the same empty stomach that they went to bed with. For many children across this country and in Missouri that is a reality, a reality that is made better by the school lunch program. A program Congressman Akin would eliminate because he does not think it is necessary.
I am from Independence and a neighbor of mine down the street that you all may have heard of, a guy by the name of Harry Truman, was a big believer in the school lunch program, in fact he helped get it started. The first federal support for school lunches occurred during the Great Depression in 1933, when the government granted loans to several towns in southwestern Missouri to cover the cost of labor to prepare the meals.
Congress created the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) after an investigation into the health of young men rejected in the World War II draft showed a connection between physical deficiencies and childhood malnutrition. In response, Congress enacted the 1946 National School Lunch Act as a “measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children.” To President Truman and the Greatest Generation, feeding children was a national security issue. To Congressman Akin it is unnecessary.
This Tuesday Missourians have a choice to make. They can choose to vote for a guy who feels comfortable saying he wants to take food out of the mouths of poor children. Or they can vote for a woman who understand the importance of seeing to it that children do not go to school hungry. I can tell you that as a teacher, there are few things sadder than knowing that you have a child in class who has not had enough to eat.
I have lived in Missouri pretty much all of my life and I find it hard to believe that my neighbors would allow that to happen, that is just not the Missouri I know, and it is certainly not the Missouri of Harry Truman. I would ask voters to think about that when they enter the voting booth. I think that as voters we have to ask ourselves whether this is what we want for Missouri’s children, for our country’s children. Can we, in good conscience, stomach the idea of a child, through no fault of their own, going to school hungry? Because if you can’t, your choice is clear, you need to vote Claire, because a vote for Claire is a vote for our children.
Besides, this is Missouri and no child should go to school hungry.
- The National School Lunch Program provided nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2011. It provides 235,065 breakfasts to Missouri kids every day and free and reduced breakfasts to 187,904. It provides 628,981 lunches to Missouri kids each day and free and reduced lunches to 365,304 of those children. These young people might otherwise have gone hungry but they didn’t. Thanks to the efforts of people like Claire McCaskill, they start their day ready to learn with food on their stomachs.
- Akin voted for the “Ryan Plan” that guts public schools and cuts Pell Grants for over 9 million students
- Akin calls federal student loans the “Stage 3 cancer of socialism.”
- Claire voted for the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act.
And yeah, she reads the comments here.