Thursday, August 09, 2007

NY Post - No Hungry Children in New York

The NY Post followed up on its article covering the Coalition Against Hunger's press conference on the low rate of school breakfast participation in New York City with an editorial - Books Before Breakfast - in which it states that participation is low because children are actually "not hungry". According to the New York Post, "Hunger is simply not a problem in New York City" , a conclusion echoing its previous, "nobody of sound mind goes hungry in New York" statement. The Post denies that poverty and hunger are in an issue in New York City, but yet also covered NYCCAH's press conference and recently published an article, "NY Kids In Terrible Poverty". Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition, wrote a letter to the editor of the Post, which, as with letters in the past, went unpublished. An excellent response to the Post's editorial was also blogged by The Neighborhood Retail Alliance.

Joel Berg's unpublished letter to the editor of the NY Post:

To the Editor, NY Post:

Your editorial, "Books Before Breakfast" - opposing calls to expand school breakfast participation among low-income children in the city - missed the point.

When kids eat breakfast in a classroom instead of a lunch room that is a hallway or two away, that gives them more time to focus on their studies. A vast amount of research proves that children who eat breakfast have higher test scores, fewer school nurse visits, and act up less in class. It makes no sense to say that children should get either books or breakfast - they
should obviously get both.

But more absurd than your opposition to school breakfast is your continued
insistence that child hunger isn't a problem in New York. Even the Bush Administration released data proving that one in five of the city's children live in homes without enough food. Not only that, children are one of the fastest growing populations forced to use the city's more than 1,200 soup kitchens and food pantries. The Post's denial reminds me of an old Chico Marx line: "Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own eyes?"

- Joel Berg
Executive Director
New York City Coalition Against Hunger

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