“Davis lives in St. Charles County, one of the wealthiest districts in Missouri. If she doesnt see hunger and poverty where she lives, in her mind it doesnt exist.”
— ChattahBox, “Republican Missouri Rep. Derides Gov. Spending to Feed Hungry Children: They can Get Free Food at Church or Get a Job!” June 22, 2009.
“Davis is correct, hunger can be a motivator. One hopes it ‘motivates’ folks to replace her next election, those that hunger for better leadership in Missouri.”
— Comment by garyro on June 23rd, 2009 8:39 am at ChattahBox.com.
“As a region the South has the largest number of children going hungry. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of food insecure children under 5 years of age, eight are in the South: Louisiana has the highest rate (24.2 percent) of food insecurity in the country followed by North Carolina (24.1), Ohio (23.8), Kentucky (23.3), Texas (23.3), New Mexico (23.3), Kansas (20.9), South Carolina (20.7), Tennessee (20.4), Idaho (20.2), Arkansas (20), West Virginia (19.8), and Missouri (19.8).
“Totalling the number of food insecure children for the 13 Southern states included in the Institute for Southern’s Studies coverage map, the data provided by Feeding America shows that more than 4.7 million children face hunger in the South – 1.2 million of those are under the age of five.”
— From “5 Million Children Going Hungry in the South,” The Institute for Southern Studies.”
“In her June newsletter, State Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-MO) provided several commentaries to a press release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on a summer food program. The program provides ‘food during the summer for thousands of low-income Missouri children who rely on the school cafeteria for free or reduced-price meals during the regular school year.’ Davis, who serves as the chairwoman of the Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families, questioned whether the program is ‘warranted,’ and extolled the hidden benefits of child hunger:
“Whos buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted. […] Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. […] Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Cant they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonalds, they will feed you for free during your break. […] It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.”
— Lee Fang, Think Progress.org, June 21, 2009.
“The State of Missouri’s Children 2009,” (.pdf file), Center for Family Policy and Research, University of Missouri-Columbia, January 2009.
“Statistics on Poverty in Missouri & the US,” National Center for Children in Poverty fact sheet.
Here is a great reply to Cynthia Davis posted on MOMocrats.com
Thanks, Ana, that’s a powerful piece. Luckily, I used to work in a facility for senior citizens 30 years ago and met some of the men and women who were eating ketchup soup during the Great Depression to keep going, trying to find work doing anything to fill the bellies of themselves and their families. I’m glad I had that experience and heard their stories; I doubt Cynthia Davis has ever met anyone like that.
I also doubt she’s visited or lived in some of the poorer neighborhoods in Chicago where the supermarket chains intentionally overprice every item and the only alternative is shopping at a 7/11, which is even more expensive. It might give her some insight to the many ways that society is steeply slanted against the poor.
She also, I’m sure, hasn’t seen the people living in Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago, sleeping in boxes when they aren’t run off by the police, and foraging through garbage dumpsters for a square meal. Good Republican Davis might ask why they aren’t going to the local shelters and charities — well, that’s because they are raped and robbed at such places, when the shelters aren’t overflowing and turning folks away, which most of them have been the past four years. Lining up at the various food pantries doesn’t work either — they run out of food quickly and, aside from that, much of their foodstuffs are meant to be cooked on top of or in a stove — people living in cardboard boxes don’t have kitchens.
Davis has also not hit bottom in her life, as I did nearly forty years ago when I had only an onion cooked in a toaster oven for dinner, and no prospects for the immediate future. (But I was fortunate; my friends and family came through for me. Most poor people only know and are related to folks just as poor as they are.)
I could go on with sad stories of this sort that are shameful to tell in a nation as rich as we are, but what’s the point? The Cynthia Davis’ of the world will only ‘get it’ when they’re broke and hungry, and sometimes not even then. Their heads are made of concrete, impervious to any reality that contradicts their sanctimonius selfishness.
I wonder what excuse she has ready for the Jesus she claims to believe in so fervently?