---- — To the editor:
In the president’s State of the Union speech, he urged Congress to fund initiatives that give low-income children a decent shot at a good future. Unfortunately, leaders in Congress think that these children should instead shoulder the burden of our budget deficits by cutting critical services like SNAP (formerly food stamps) and Head Start.
These and other important services are the only things standing between these children and lives of abject poverty. And they make a difference. A recent study from Iowa State shows that SNAP reduces hunger in children by 20 percent and poor health outcomes by 35 percent. Head Start and child care help children do better in school and studies show that kids in quality early learning programs tend to be healthier, smarter, and more successful when they grow up.
It angers me that Congress would ignore the research and instead tell these children “tough luck.” Saying that children are our future means nothing if you don’t act like it. Congress should follow the president’s lead and put our children first. I urge our representatives and senators to reject any cuts to SNAP, Head Start, and child-care assistance and instead enact a balanced approach to deficit reduction that creates jobs, generates revenue, and does not increase poverty.