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Letters to the editor

 

July 26, 2018



SNAP funding in question

The risk of hunger for children increases in the summer due to the fact that the school lunch program is not in effect. This is especially true for rural communities like ours where access to the summer lunch program is limited.

As a volunteer for Heights Unlimited food pantry, we, along with our generous neighbors and community partners like Second Harvest Foodbank, are proud to provide for the hard-working families in our community who struggle with hunger, especially during the summer months.

As much as we do to help, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as FoodShare in Wisconsin) does so much more. SNAP helps many low-income Wisconsinites with a modest monthly benefit to buy groceries every month and when these limited benefits run out, our pantry provides an emergency supply of food to get people through the month. Some estimates say that for every one meal provided by local agencies like ours, the SNAP program provides ten meals!

Right now, Congress’ funding for SNAP in the Farm Bill is in question. Both the House and the Senate recently passed their versions of the farm bill. The key difference in these proposals is the approach to SNAP. Both Farm Bill’s outline two very different visions for how our nation will come together to fight hunger.

The House version would make broad cuts to SNAP and impose time limits, which would cut millions of low-income Americans and almost 100,000 Wisconsinites off the program. Any severe cuts to the program, like the ones passed by the House, would significantly increase the demand at our food pantry that we will have a hard time meeting, and would certainly increase the risk of hunger for many seniors, children, and working families trying to make ends meet.

The Senate version would improve SNAP by strengthening its work requirements and improving the program’s accountability and integrity without sacrificing access for people with low-incomes. We believe that the proposals in the Senate’s version set forth an optimistic, forward looking vision toward fighting hunger and improving health.

The final version that Congress sends to the President must keep SNAP, which is our nation’s signature anti-hunger program, strong, effective, and accessible so that Black Earth families facing hunger have the nutrition they need to work, learn, and live healthier lives.

I hope that the conference committee can agree on a Farm Bill that resembles the responsible, bipartisan SNAP policies set forth in the Senate version, and pass a final Farm Bill that fights hunger and strengthens rural communities.

Pam Gattenby

Mazomanie

Sauk Prairie Community Club Says Thanks

Thank you to all who patronized the recent Brat Stands sponsored by the Sauk Prairie Community Club. Also, thanks to all who donated funds to the cause. The purpose of the fund raiser was to raise money for Badger Honor flight, and due to the generosity of so many, the Club will be able to donate $3700. Once again, the generous spirit of our communities was clearly demonstrated!

The Sauk Prairie Community Club

Clothing Is Not an Invitation to Harass

During the summer, people often wear shorts, tank tops, and clothing that cover less skin. Clothing choices are usually made because of convenience, comfort, and because it can make people feel good. Unfortunately, it’s often seen as acceptable to objectify and harass people based on what they’re wearing.

All people, regardless of their fashion or appearance, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. What someone’s wearing is never an excuse to harass them – clothing choice is not an invitation to catcall, make comments about their body, or touch them without consent.

We may feel like comments and jokes are harmless but shaming someone based on their body or the clothes that they are wearing can have long-lasting effects on someone’s self-esteem, sense of self, and sense of safety. We can make our communities safer by speaking up if we hear inappropriate comments or jokes or see someone being harassed. Enjoying summer activities is a lot easier if you don’t have to worry about comments or judgments based on your body or clothing.

If you or someone you know is experiencing harassment or abuse, free help and support is available from Hope House by calling 1-800-584-6790.

Becky Berry, Youth Educator Advocate

 
 

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