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FRAC Response: Rush Limbaugh's Summer Food Comment

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When schools close their doors for the summer, millions of low-income children lose access to school meals. Hunger spikes in the summer months, and so does childhood obesity when kids don't get healthy school breakfast and lunch. It's likely that this summer will even be worse for families still reeling from the recession. Fortunately, there are programs that exist that help many - but not enough - low-income children get healthy lunches when school is out.

In his comments, Rush Limbaugh suggests that children instead should seek cheap fast food or dumpster-dive to stave off hunger in the summer. When the great satirist and cleric Jonathan Swift suggested in "A Modest Proposal" that starving Irish parents should sell their children as food to the rich and use the proceeds to feed themselves, he did so with a moral purpose and moral clarity that has resonated down through the ages. When Limbaugh suggests children dumpster-dive, belittling the situation of hungry kids in America, he positions himself at the opposite end of the human spectrum from Swift. Swift's satire closes by mock-condemning such solutions as 'taxing… introducing prudence and temperance… learning to love our country … [and] quitting our animosities.' Limbaugh's stance, in contrast, is to actually belittle human decency.

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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

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