Cuts to the CSFP are a big deal to agencies in that area. It will make it difficult for them to continue to provide 1,100 seniors and mothers with children under 6 years old the boxed food they currently depend on in Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties. Another 1,200 people also receive emergency food assistance. To put this in perspective, the three counties have a combined population of only 47,050.
These budget cuts will also affect the Portage Health System seniors meal program, which allows seniors to buy lunch at a reduced rate. One local 89-year-old man said the cuts would not hurt him, but others would not be so fortunate. "Many elderly residents need government support for much of their daily needs," Drew said, including meals. "They're very dependent on the services they get from the government."
It's come down to this in our country and our state. Average citizens are speaking out and pleading with Bush and the Republicans to show some compassion, and even local editors are calling on the Bush administration to do what is right and just.
President Bush's 2007 budget goes a bit too far in the opposite direction in terms of curtailing one portion of the welfare system. The $2.7 trillion budget includes a plan to cut the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. This funding provides packaged food for low-income seniors and families and costs the government less than $20 per participant a month. It includes items such as canned tuna fish, peanut butter, cheese, cereal and canned fruits and vegetables. [...]
Many of these folks work, some are elderly, others are disabled, all are in need of help, sacrificing their pride so their families can eat. [...]
So how do we balance an out-of-control federal budget without cutting loose our most vulnerable citizens? As an electorate, we must make our priorities known to those who hold office - and prioritize is exactly what we must do. The United States is the wealthiest country in the world. There is no reason even one of its citizens should go hungry. [Emphasis mine.]
Most Americans would agree, but the Republican party no longer represents the values of average Americans. Their priorities put tax cuts for the rich and corporate welfare first in line behind the basic needs of people.