OP-ED: No Need for $40 Billion in Cuts to Federal Nutrition Programs

By Sallie Melendez

Recently on his Face Book page, Congressman GK Butterfield informs us that $40 billion in cuts to federal nutrition programs are proposed.

We already have a lack of access to healthcare…insurmountable obstacles to women’s right to choose…changes in federal and locally funded pre-K, school lunch and other programs, legislation is flying through state legislatures changing state election laws. Think about it. Who do you think will be the most adversely impacted by these draconian policy changes?

 

$40 billion proposed in reductions in nutrition programs… while we see more and more shifts in federal, state and local spending going from vital and critically needed social programs into state departments of correction, state and local police budgets. Think about it. Who do you think will be the most adversely impacted by these shifts in funding? Hint: aren’t there a disproportionate number of African-American and other minority males in prisons than there are in colleges and universities…isn’t there a dramatic increase in the number of American children – of all races — living in poverty?

Slave and Civil Rights activists, black and white, dating back to the 1800′s put their lives and careers on the line to ensure our futures and rights as fully franchised citizens of these United States of America. It’s now 2013…and we’re under siege again…what sacrifices have we made or are we making or prepared to make to do the same thing?

My heart is so heavy with these thoughts.

My mind is reeling from the mere thought of the gravity of the ultimate impacts and devastating effects that will inevitably flow from the trajectories plotted by others for our children, our children’s children, and us for generations to come.

My soul yearns for the resurrection of the spirit of those who’ve gone before us in the battle and struggle for equality…Presidents Abraham Lincoln…John F. Kennedy…Lyndon B. Johnson…W.E.B. Dubois…John Brown…Thurgood Marshall… Adam Clayton Powell, Jr… Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr…. Coretta Scott King…Malcolm X…A. Philip Randolph…Fannie Lou Hamer…Marion Barry… Michael Schwerner…Andrew Goodman… James Chaney…Marie Foster… Fredrick Douglass… Susan B. Anthony… and countless others.

They led by example…do we?

Sallie Melendez

Sallie Melendez

Sallie Melendez currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Former DC resident and staff to then DC Mayor Marion Barry. Recent staff to U.S. Representative Brad Miller (NC-13); Senior Project Manager Zell and Associates, Richmond, CA; Director of Corporate Affairs Bramalea Pacific, Oakland, City of Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson. Mills College graduate with a Masters Degree in Public Administration earned as a National Urban Fellow at the City University of New York – Baruch College School of Public Policy.

 

Correction: The printed version of the story wrongly stated that Congressman GK Butterfield proposed the cuts. Butterfield made organizations and community members aware of the possible cuts to the federal nutrition programs but did not propose them.

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