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Hands Across America to Help the Hungry

June 01, 1986

Reagan's statement that "anyone who is going hungry in America simply does not know where to turn for help" is totally callous and partially true. Reagan knows about the "lack of knowledge" because in 1981 he cut from the budget the Outreach programs that helped inform people about food stamps.

As a result, government statistics show that 13.9 million people eligible for food stamps are not receiving them and 14.28 million women and children are denied the benefits of the Women Infant Children Supplemental Feeding Program. It should be no surprise to Reagan that the Physician's Task Force found that 20 million people are hungry at some time each month and 500,000 children are affected by malnutrition.

Rather than take responsibility for this horrendous problem, Reagan is saying that the hungry have only themselves to blame. This simply is not true. The policies of this Administration, while claiming to support the poor and needy, have consistently worked against them. In the last five years, programs (i.e., food, housing, education and jobs) designed to help poor and low-income families have been cut by 31%, while military spending has increased by 47%

MARY BRENT WEHRLI

Los Angeles

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