Your Opinion July 28, 2013

Nunnelee votes against his hungry constituents

The beautiful Mississippi that we all know and love is struggling; 21.3 percent of our state’s residents live in poverty. It is important to understand that this definition of poverty does not equate with our societal definition of “poor.” When living below the federal poverty line, funds are so limited that it can be challenging to put food on the table. For a family of four to be below the federal poverty line, their annual earnings must be $23,550 or less. To put this in perspective, if a single mother with two children works full-time earning minimum wage, they are below the poverty line.

However, our troubles extend beyond federal calculations; the effects of poverty in Mississippi are tangible. Just last year, the Department of Agriculture reported that 20 perecent of Mississippians are living in a state of food insecurity.

In 2008, the federal government revamped the program known by many as “food stamps” into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). When taking into account Mississippi’s high poverty and food-insecurity levels, it isn’t surprising that our state has the nation’s largest percentage of residents receiving SNAP. However, this doesn’t mean that recipients are living the “high life” thanks to federal funds. The average SNAP recipient receives less than $1.50 per meal.

Still, when combating food insecurity, that little amount of money can be the difference between a full stomach and going to sleep hungry.

However, U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee must not view things this way. While representing our congressional district, where 35,263 households, 60 percent of which include children, rely on SNAP, he voted for a bill that did not re-authorize the program’s funding. Fortunately for us, he was kind enough to put out a press release claiming that his vote “eliminated outdated programs.”

Any representative from Mississippi who believes a program as essential as this one is “outdated” is tragically disconnected with the people he was elected to serve.

I challenge him to ask his hungry constituents if their benefits are outdated. I’m positive that their grumbling bellies will be the only answer he needs.
Abby Grace
Tupelo

Officials stop acting with Christian care
After reading “Your Opinion” in the Sunday, July 7, issue, I had to agree on all three written by Massey, Jancis and Crow. All are smart, thoughtful of others.

I would like to add to the above. What I have noticed is most of our elected officials claim to be Christians, but once they are in office, they think that relieves them of that responsibility.

Now we have a chance to help 300,000 hard-working, underpaid human beings ,and our political leaders voted non-Christian.

Anytime you hurt God’s creations you must answer for it. Remember what Jesus said, “Whatever you have done to my brethren, you have done to me, also.”
Allen Thomas
Saltillo

  • yocona

    “Any representative from Mississippi who believes a program as essential as this one [SNAP] is “outdated” is tragically disconnected with the people he was elected to serve.”

    Amen.

  • charlie

    I don’t see why anyone is surprised, Nunnlee said in his campaign he was going to toe the repup line which means do only what the speaker tells him to, and to he!! with the people that he represents.

  • 1941641

    Nonelee, like his Christian Fundamentalist friends in the Tupelo area, thinks he’s doing GOD’S HOLY work. But, his pseudo-Godliness has overwhelmed his ability to think like a sane responsible, rational man. And, it’s no secret to his constituency that he indulges in false witnessing!

  • TWBDB

    What does MS need to bring ‘good nutritious food’ – – not just crap to the table. I suspect even with the SNAP funding much of what is on the table leads directly to the high health care costs downstream. No matter how you slice it, MS suffers most from metabolic disease of one form or another, whether that leads to sugar imbalance, high cholesterol, obesity, even many forms of cancer.

    • Winston Smith

      I agree, but how do you fix that? You can buy a head of lettuce or fried chicken with a SNAP card. It comes down to personal choice and people in our state consistently choose an unhealthy lifestyle. We’ve got one of the poorest diets and highest rates of smoking in the country.