Full Bellies & Empty Souls

Dear Paul Ryan,

I want to talk to you today about what I read in an article from Time Magazine. Here is the link: Paul Ryan Says Free School Lunches Give Kids ‘An Empty Soul’ I want to address the  idiotic thing you said to CPAC. Yep, that’s right. I called it idiotic. Because expecting children to want dignity more than to not be hungry means you are expecting them to go hungry. Let’s say that together…slowly.

“I, Paul Ryan, would rather children go hungry with dignity than have full bellies from a “free lunch”.”

Guess what, Paul Ryan? That makes you a certifiable douche nozzle. Now, lets look at statistics for a second, which you seem to have cleverly ignored in your bid to end the liberal left from wanting all children fed equally…but then, your policies never have gone in that direction, have they?

A quick Google Search pulls up a host of articles that show the affects of hunger in relationship with how children learn and the effects of hunger on a child’s ability to learn. Just pulling the abstract, from a scholarly publication, btw, and it says this:

“This study investigates the correlation between food insecurity, educational achievement, and health among kindergarten children in the United States. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohort are used to analyze educational achievement and physical growth of kindergartners faced with food insecurity. The results demonstrate that children begin to experience the effects of food insecurity even at the most marginal level of household food deprivation. Children in households with any signs of food insecurity score lower and learn less during the school year.”  -Winicki, J. and Jemison, K. (2003), Food Insecurity and Hunger in the Kindergarten Classroom: Its Effect on Learning and Growth. Contemporary Economic Policy, 21: 145–157. doi:10.1093/cep/byg001

There is even this article, published in The Journal of Nutrition. Do me a favor, read it.

I’ll even provide the link…here ya go: Food Insecurity Affects School Children’s Academic Performance, Weight Gain, and Social Skills1,2,3

Paul Ryan, did you even do your research? Did you? Did you tell your speech writers to do their research? Guessing from your speech, you did not.

Children do not deserve to go hungry. Children do not deserve to have their learning abilities hindered because YOU and the rest of your Republican cohorts believe that “dignity” is over hunger and should always be considered before feeding a hungry child.

I am ashamed of you and for you, Paul Ryan. I am ashamed that, as a father, you would suggest that a child go hungry. Where is your conscience, sir? Where is your heart? And most importantly, where is your compassion?

As a parent, it hurts my heart when I hear of a child who isn’t eating because their parents can’t afford to buy them lunch. It hurts my heart to know that there are kids out there with that awful, gnawing feeling telling them it’s time to eat and they have nothing to satiate that hunger. Also, I was that mom whose kids were on the Free or Reduced lunch program. I sacrificed *MY* dignity in order to make sure my kids were fed. Why? Because their need for nutrition outweighed my own pride. I would sacrifice my pride and dignity for them any day…but I am a mother-a parent- and that is just what parents do. Did I like doing that? Absolutely not. But their need to eat outweighed my own discomfort and it became a non-issue.

Paul Ryan, I hope you listen to what people are saying. Not just what the upper middle class white suburban republicans are saying to you. Not just what the lobbyists and political demagogues are saying… I hope you listen to those who have taken part in these programs and have benefited from them. I hope you read the research and evidence that is out there which shows nutrition and hunger play a significant role in how our young people learn, grow, and mature. And I hope you realize that your words are potentially condemning the youth of this nation to hunger, pain, suffering, and diminished education. Your words are powerful, Paul Ryan, and with power comes great responsibility. Try to use yours for good instead of the bullshit you seem to believe is “right”.

Sincerely,

A Mother who thinks you are pretty much scum.

 

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