East Bay News
Oakland kicks off summer food program for kids
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- School is out, but summer is no vacation for families who have trouble putting food on the table. Monday was the start of a program in Oakland that could help ease that financial burden, but it comes just as Congress debates cuts to a program many of those same families rely on.
Junk food is often the cheapest option for struggling families. Many of these kids get their most nutritious meal at school during the year. So Oakland is offering them free lunches during the summer all over the city, including at nearly a dozen libraries.
"It's a natural fit, lunches in the library, and this year our summer reading program theme is reading is 'So Delicious,'" Oakland Public Library spokesperson Sharon McKeller said.
"The summer lunch program could serve 100,000 meals by the time school starts back up, but there are those worried it could soon have to start serving a whole lot more. On the floor in Congress are cuts to the federal food stamp program that have one Bay Area congresswoman deeply concerned
"We shouldn't even be talking about this; we should be talking about how we move forward to end hunger," Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. said.
Lee is angry over a proposed $20 billion cut to the federal food stamp program. She says it's barely adequate as it is.
"Nobody wants to be on food stamps; I'm a former food stamp recipient myself, and let me tell you, it was hard," she said.
To prove her point, Lee is going back on the food stamp diet, eating for just $4.50 a day, while the farm bill makes its way to the floor.
The farm bill could come to a vote by this Thursday.
barbara lee, oakland, congress, food, children, east bay news, jonathan bloom
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