Yes, people worry about food, Mr. Hagedorn
We’re not sure what was going through Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s mind last week when he spoke to the Kiwanis Club in Worthington. Talking about the importance of agriculture in America, Hagedorn, the First District Republican, said, “Nobody [in America] goes to sleep at night wondering if they’ll be able to feed their families.”
We think the volunteers at the New Ulm Food Shelf might beg to differ. They provide food to about 150 families a month, families that are indeed worried about where the next meal comes from.
The United Way of Brown County would beg to differ. The United Way is setting up a program called Project Lunchbox that, starting next school year, will provide weekend meals and snacks for students in District 88 who might not have much to eat at home. They depend on the school for breakfasts and lunches each school day, but the weekends can be hungry times for them.
According to the Worthington Globe, Hagedorn was referring to the vast arrays of good, nutritious food in American grocery stores, compared to some other countries. But you need money to get the food in the stores, and a lot of people don’t have enough. They may be people who have lost their jobs, or had a major car repair expense, or got sick and have big medical bills. They may be senior citizens on fixed incomes who have seen the cost of living exceed their monthly budget, and have to decide sometimes between paying for their monthly prescriptions or paying for food.
Some of them, ironically, may be farm families, who grow the cornucopia of food that we see in the grocery stores, but are seeing their own annual income tumble thanks to low farm commodity prices and the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade wars.
We’re sure Mr. Hagedorn is well aware of these facts. We hope he is. Maybe the words about hunger just popped out of his mouth before he had a chance to think about how they sounded.
That’s why “Engage Brain Before Putting Mouth In Gear” is such good advice.