A Plea at Passover for children

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A Plea at Passover for children

Postby Gramma Jackie » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:07 pm

Passover begins this coming Monday, April 29th. Although I am not Jewish, my son-in-law and grandson are. Despite whatever religious views you do or do not hold, this plea at by Rabi Elliott Kleinmann is worth reading and hoping for.

At Passover, a plea for the Child Nutrition Bill

By Elliott A. Kleinman · March 24, 2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- When we sit down to our Passover seder tables, as a people we will proclaim that we remember the days when we were not free, when we lived under the yoke of slavery in someone’s else’s land. Then we will extend an invitation to all who are hungry to come and eat with us, for we remember that, too. This is not merely an invitation to share in a meal from a bountiful table; it is also a challenge to bring freedom -- freedom from want, freedom from ignorance, freedom from fear to all who are so afflicted.

We seal the invitation with a plea that when we sit down to our seders next year we all will be free.

But it is the specifics of the seder’s message of freedom from hunger that cries out to us from across this land of plenty in which so many don’t have even enough food to eat. The need to eat is the most basic of human needs. It is a need so vital that we must say that no one who is hungry can be considered free in any sense of the word.

For the Americans who live in poverty and for whom hunger is the defining feature of daily subsistence, hunger is enslavement. For when all your emotional and physical resources and energy must be channeled into the quest for basic sustenance, nothing is left over for anything else – nothing left to give to your children, nothing left over for education, nothing left over to look around at the rest of the world, nothing left to find the means to move out of slavery.

And it is the epitome of cynicism to proclaim that access to adequate nutrition is not at the core of poverty in the United States today.

As with most of society’s ills and failures, children suffer the most. They are dependent on adults for whatever they receive.

For Jews, taking care of our children and the children of our communities is a moral imperative. Psalm 82: 3-4 calls upon us to "defend the poor and the orphan; deal justly with the poor and the destitute, and to rescue the weak and the needy.”

So it is appropriate at Passover time and our call to the hungry among us that we also raise our voices to Congress to re-authorize the Child Nutrition Bill. This bill funds free and reduced-price lunches in our public schools, summer and afterschool food programs, free breakfast programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides vital nutritious foods to new mothers, infants and children up to age 5. Food that is made available staves off serious health and social problems that occur later in life as a result of poor nutrition during the key developmental years.

Providing children with proper nutrition is therefore both the moral thing to do, and it is also a cost-effective way of investing in our nation's future.

Not to put too fine a point on it, we should all hang our heads in shame that such programs are even necessary.

In 2008, President-elect Obama set a national goal of ending child hunger in America by 2015. This resonates with Reform Jews everywhere, and our Passover call to the hungry makes it especially fitting for us at this time of the year. May the bare crumbs that we toss to the poor and the needy become a memory for everyone in our country, and may each year find us freer from want and hunger than the year before.
Gramma Jackie
 

Re: A Plea at Passover for children

Postby Letha.. » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:06 pm

Gramma Jackie wrote:So it is appropriate at Passover time and our call to the hungry among us that we also raise our voices to Congress to re-authorize the Child Nutrition Bill. This bill funds free and reduced-price lunches in our public schools, summer and afterschool food programs, free breakfast programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides vital nutritious foods to new mothers, infants and children up to age 5. Food that is made available staves off serious health and social problems that occur later in life as a result of poor nutrition during the key developmental years.


Amen
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Re: A Plea at Passover for children

Postby kcwriter » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:26 pm

I agree that so much is needed to feed our children here in this country. I live on 650 $ a month and struggle so much. When my kids were little, we did everything to put food on the table. This included going through trash cans at the nearby college for bottles.

Now, my opinion of school lunches is this. I have a 6 and 11 year old grandsons I'm raising and I wouldn't let them eat that junk for all the tea in China. And I never let my kids when they were little eat that stuff either. They got a PB sandwich and an apple. School lunces are an atrosity. They are processed, fat-laden, overcooked garbage. We feed our pets out of a can better.

So the real problem here isn't feeding the kids but what America is giving for free. Go to a nearby grade school and see for yourself if you don't believe me. Just my opinion. kc
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Re: A Plea at Passover for children

Postby forlife » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:39 pm

It is a dilemma to be sure. I know both my kids get hot lunch at school, simply for the sake of time. However, more and more they are choosing to make their own lunches so they can have some healthy options.

The school lunch menu does not include any other beverage than milk. Not even water which blew me away. The food is all refined and fat laden. There have been some improvements in the high school cafeterial here offering vegan options, but that has yet to hit the middle school and elementary schools. My youngest was even involved in a minor debate about the benefits of milk with one of the nutritionists. We sent back this website.

So while we need to encourage our congressmen and women to continue to fight hunger for america's children, we also need to stand up and fight for healthier food choices.

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Re: A Plea at Passover for children

Postby Gramma Jackie » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:46 pm

Well Michelle Obama has taken healthy child nutrition on with her mission against obestiy as First Lady. :)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35886607/
Gramma Jackie
 

Re: A Plea at Passover for children

Postby afreespirit » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:09 pm

Both the School Lunch and the Food Stamp Programs were created NOT to serve the hungry, but to support and subsidize the food industry and all its subsets (meat, dairy, etc.). Yet another form of corporate welfare.

The School Lunch Program, in particular, provides an outlet for gov't surplus commodities, many of which, like cheese, are also handed out at food banks. This is why the lowest-grade, e.coli-laden ground beef ends up on your child's lunch tray.

Jesus wept.
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