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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 19, 2013 at 5:00 PM

End the achievement gap, support low-income kids

Hunger, poverty is a distraction

Thank you for the article “Commit to poor kids to end the achievement gap” [Opinion, March 17]. Fifty million Americans are food insecure, which means they sometimes don’t get enough to eat. Whole meals may be missed. Many of these people are children who are often dazed and unfocused at school because of hunger.

The Cato Institute reports that the U.S. government spends between $10 billion to $30 billion a year on farm subsidies. Ninety percent of this money is for wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton. These subsidies are heavily tilted toward the largest producers. This excludes the smaller farms where fruits and vegetables are grown. This leads to the fact that processed foods are much more available and affordable than fruits and vegetables in stores in low-income areas.

The government should cut these large subsidies and subsidize the growers of fruits and vegetables. It should fully fund programs like food stamps and school lunches to end hunger in America.

–Maggie Walker, Seattle

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