Hunger is a daily reality for millions of Americans, and has negative consequences for individuals of all ages. However, it is especially harmful for the development and well-being of children. Inadequate nutrition can permanently alter a child's development.
While Congress battles it out over health care reform, the resulting government shutdown will have far-reaching impacts on food safety, environmental protections, food production and farming. It also has serious implications for the health and nutrition of many Americans.
How many times is it okay for me to pick up a piece of banana off the floor and give it back to him? He is not consuming a pure organic diet. Is he going to grow a horn? Did I remember to wash the plum before I handed it to him? And, oops, is he eating the fruit sticker?
Throughout the recent presidential election cycle, we only heard about the fiscal cliff in relationship to defense spending. In an economy recovering, but slower than any of us want, we might have expected a discussion about feeding families, not just buying bombs.
Here in the land of self-sufficiency and family values, foremost of which is the sanctity of parental childrearing, anything that smacks of social welfare statehood is a tough sell. Never mind that nearly 57 percent of women with children under age one are in the workforce.
Legislation passed by House Republicans (no Democrats voted for it) slashed $747 million -- about 10 percent -- from the 2011 budget for the Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children.