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FRAC Response to Rush Limbaugh's Summer Food Comment

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When schools close their doors for the summer, millions of low-income children lose access to school meals. Hunger spikes in the summer months, and so does childhood obesity when kids don't get healthy school breakfast and lunch. It's likely that this summer will even be worse for families still reeling from the recession. Fortunately, there are programs that exist that help many -- but not enough low-income children get healthy lunches when school is out.

In his comments, Rush Limbaugh suggests that children instead should seek cheap fast food or dumpster-dive to stave off hunger in the summer. Limbaugh's strained efforts to be provocative and over-the-top are neither insightful nor humorous. When the great satirist and cleric Jonathan Swift suggested in A Modest Proposal that starving Irish parents should sell their children as food to the rich, he did so with a moral purpose and moral clarity that has resonated down through the ages. When Limbaugh suggests children dumpster-dive, belittling the situation of hungry kids in America, he positions himself at the opposite end of the human spectrum from Swift. Swift's satire closes by mock-condemning such solutions as "taxing... introducing prudence and temperance... learning to love our country ... [and] quitting our animosities." Limbaugh's stance, in contrast, is to actually belittle human decency.