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US Senate cand Clark & Lawrence (G-NY): Underfunded Child Nutrition Is Outrageous, Will Increase Hunger

The only way that the Green Party can regain ballot status in NY is to get 50,000 votes for their Governor candidate in 2010. This opportunity comes only once every four years, and it only applies to the Governor’s race. Gaining ballot status will enable the Green Party to run more peace candidates, more single-payer candidates, more anti-fracking candidates, and more sustainable energy candidates. The last time that the Green Party of New York State had ballot status it set the record for running the most Green candidates of any state.

Green US Senate Candidates Say Military Funding Should be Cut to Feed America

Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence, the two Green Party candidates for US Senate from New York, chastised the US Senate today for passing a Child Nutrition Program re-authorization that seriously underfunds critical anti-hunger programs – and paid for it by cutting food stamps (SNAP) to hungry Americans.

Colia Clark

Colia Clark

Ms. Clark said:

The Democrats in Congress jumped through hoops to bail out Wall Street when they didn’t need our largesse. Why is it so difficult for Congress to locate funds to feed hungry US children? Feeding and caring for America’s hungry children is a national security issue. It’s a lot cheaper to feed America’s hungry than to deal with the the myriad domestic problems caused by hunger, including health problems and criminal injustice. As Senator from New York, I will push the Obama Administration and Congress to cut the defense budget in half in the interest of national security. The US continues to ignore, and indeed violate, the universally recognized human rights of children. This bill is unacceptable.”

The Senate approved only a $450 million annual increase in the funding for child nutrition programs, but cut food stamp benefits to pay for it. The House committee has recommended an $800 million annual increase, but has failed to comply with Congressional rules that require cuts in other domestic programs. Anti-hunger advocates had asked for a $4 billion annual increase.

“It is outrageous that the Senate approved such a meager increase in funding to feed our children and it is obscene that they paid for it by increasing hunger among all Americans by cutting food stamps,” said Cecile Lawrence.

The Greens said that cutting the military budget by at least $350 billion would allow the country to fund a Green New Deal, providing a guaranteed living wage job for all Americans through investments in renewable energy, mass transit, education, environmental protection, affordable housing, child care and other critical domestic needs.

In 2008 49.1 million Americans, including 16.6 million children, lived in households that the government classified as “food insecure” – and this was before the worst of the economic recession. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2007 found that domestic hunger and food insecurity cost the American economy $90 billion annually – a figure that anti-hunger leaders estimate now exceeds $120 billion due to the growing recession. Anti-hunger experts believe that hunger in America could be ended for $30 billion.

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