MO Republican on child hunger: "Hunger Can Be a Positive Motivator"

  1. Missouri Republican Rep. Cynthia Davis thinks providing healthy meals for poor children during summer vacation is a horrible idea. She suggests they get a job at McDonalds where they will be fed for free during their break.
    (Sources: Fired up! Missouri, St. Louis Today)

    State Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, is staking out a strong position on child hunger: She's for it. "Hunger can be a positive motivator," she notes in the latest edition of her newsletter.

    More precisely, Ms. Davis is against summer feeding programs for poor kids. They are an excuse "to create an expansion of a government program," she says.

    Ms. Davis chairs the House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families. In that position, she might be expected to have insight into child hunger in our state.

    She might know, for instance, that about one in five Missouri children lives with hunger. That ties us with Louisiana for the nation's seventh-highest rate, according to a report released last month by the hunger-relief charity Feeding America.

    Or that the recession has pushed the number of poor Missouri kids who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches by 8.3 percent this year, well above the national average.

    Apparently not.

    "While I have not seen this as a problem in my district, it is entirely possible that the (summer feeding) program is designed to address problems that exist in other parts of Missouri," Ms. Davis says in her newsletter.

    "The right way to solve this is with more education. If parents ... don't know how to serve nutritious meals, let's help them learn to do that."

    In that spirit, she offers some helpful hints:
    * "Families may economize by choosing not to waste hard earned dollars on potato chips, ice cream or Twinkies."
    * "Laid-off parents could adapt by preparing more home cooked meals rather than going out to eat."
    * "Tip: If you work for McDonald's, they will feed you for free during your break."
  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   GCTMT
    oh,,, wow..

    Well, I do agree that being hungry can serve as motivation, and the end goal is getting something to eat! I think this is just another example of a politician who is hopelessly out of touch. It's downright foolish to avoid feeding a child if the child is hungry. I'm sure there are other ways to cut spending, and I'm willing to bet that most folks would be willing to pay a little more in taxes so that a kid could eat.

    I have a brilliant idea, I say, in the summer time, we take the "poor children" and put them to "work" in "community camps". We shouldn't have to pay them because the pay-off is learning personal responsibiliy and the worthiness of a hard days work. THEN, we feed them.
  4. by   blue note
    Oh, BTW, she is of course, anti-abortion. So, she is for saving "unborn children," but against feeding children after they are born if they are poor.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Well, I can think of probably half-a-dozen child labor law violations that would result from putting 6-year-olds to work at McDumpster..........

    Still, I think the remark was taken out of context, and she's absolutely right that avoiding the junk-food aisle and cooking meals at home helps save money. That doesn't mean she wants to starve low-income children, IMHO.
  6. by   blue note
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Still, I think the remark was taken out of context, and she's absolutely right that avoiding the junk-food aisle and cooking meals at home helps save money. That doesn't mean she wants to starve low-income children, IMHO.
    Here is the link to her online newsletter. I think you will find that her remarks were not taken out of context. And as the scathing editorial in the St. Louis newspaper pointed out, she is ignoring real, unfortunate statistics about child hunger in her own state. She wants to shift responsibility to churches and non-profits, but most of the program sites are already in churches, and they need the federal funding opposed by Cynthia Davis.

    I guess I simply cannot understand the mentality of a politician who would actually begrudge hungry children food.
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    Her comments were not taken out of context. She is clearly against serving meals to hungry children. She believes that serving meals to them will break apart families and that churches can take up the slack. She also seems to believe that the problem of hungry children can be solved by the parents serving more home-cooked meals?????? There is a huge disconnect there, her bulb is not too bright.

    who created a new rule that says government must make up for any lack at home?
    People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem.
    I guess that's the positive side of hunger.

    Why have meals at home with your loved ones if you can go to the government soup kitchen and get one for free?

    Show of hands? How many people would willingly go to a soup kitchen instead of eat at home if they had a choice? Anybody?
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    Hunger is an excellent motivator...for adults. It is not appropriate or useful for children, unless we want to have standards like a 3rd world country.

    This woman is not the brightest bulb in the bunch, that's for sure.
  9. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from blue note
    Oh, BTW, she is of course, anti-abortion. So, she is for saving "unborn children," but against feeding children after they are born if they are poor.
    Yes, of course.
  10. by   Cherybaby
    "People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem."

    Awesome! So, all I need to do then is to starve my children...and they will drop all that nonsensical baby fat! Maybe my 13 year old will get a job! I can always send my 8 month old grandaughter to work at McDonalds! And all along, here I thought that I had to feed my babies. Matter of fact, I think I'll go hungry know, as a show of support.

    Sorry for the sarcasm...but this post kind of chapped my a**.

    I used to work with homeless families when I lived in NYC. These poor mothers were so proud that they resorted to soup kitchens as a last resort. They would feed their children and skip feeding themselves because they were too embarassed to eat food that could benefit other little kids. Obviously, this woman has never seen what an emaciated child looks like; the way you can hand them a piece of bread and they will eat it like it's a 3 course meal, savoring every moment of it. It's disgusting that this woman would say such a thing about a child's motivation to eat. Surely we can all benefit from eating home cooked meals...but what about those who don't have homes to cook their meals in?

    I guess they could always rumage through garbage cans of those of us who can afford a box of chicken mc nuggets now and then.:icon_roll

    Oh, and before we "go there", I don't care what her party affiliation is. Ignorance is a bi-partisan affliction.
    Last edit by Cherybaby on Jun 22, '09
  11. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Quote from Cherybaby
    but what about those who don't have homes to cook their meals in?
    Exactly! And what about those who live in poor urban areas without access to a grocery store? Sure, there is public transportation, but it is not always safe and available when/where you need it. If all you have access to is a convenience store, you are not going to get a lot of beans and rice. Cheetos and other junk becomes a part of the daily diet! This situation is not far-fetched, it happens every day at the school where I work!

    As far as hunger somehow motivating children...I. Just. Have. No. Words. :angryfire
  12. by   hillarypeace2006
    Another display of compassionate conservatism!
  13. by   heron
    Don't know about compassionate conservatism ... more a declaration of class warfare ... let's starve 'em out ... then, when they grow up as less than perfect citizens because of being hungry all the time and the effects of malnutrition on learning abilities, we can blame "those people" for all the ills of society and throw 'em in jail ... incidentally creating more jobs in the private corrections industry.

    Alternatively, since they're now obese because they grew up eating the only food they could afford - they get to die from obesity-related disease while we scorn them for "doing it to themselves" and fight over whether we should waste health care dollars on "them".

    And ... heaven forbid that a junky's child or an illegal immigrant brought here by his parents should get fed.

    In one of the richest countries in the world. Shame!
  14. by   blue note
    cynthia davis was named keith olbermann's worst person in the world, twice. his second smackdown was a thing of beauty:

    ...but the winner, state representative cynthia davis of missouri. when she first won this award hands down on monday we told you that miss davis had had attached a series of what she called commentaries to a report on the state's meal program for underprivileged kids while school was out for the summer, insisting that these meals should be curtailed....

    representative davis has not apologized for, retracted, nor clarified her remarks. she has blamed "an editorial that misrepresented my views." even though her views were in her editorials which she wrote. she continues to believe that one fifth of school age children in missouri who face hunger every day have somehow chosen to do that, that this is a family rights issue.

    quote,"we all agree on the importance of feeding children, but we differ on who should do this. i believe this duty belongs to the parents. instead of respecting this time honored jurisdiction of the family, the summer feeding program treats families like they do not exist." you're wrong. it treats families like they don't have enough money to get meals for their kids and they need our help.

    "when government takes over a family function, like feeding children on a daily basis, we take a group of people who are capable and treat them like they are incapacitated...look into your own heart and ask, 'what made a difference in my life as a child?' was it standing in a line for a cafeteria style meal at school or was it sitting around the kitchen table with others in your family?" you're wrong. gosh, miss davis, i think more than either of these things what would have made a difference in my life as a child was if one day there was no breakfast and some idiot politician was trying to make sure i couldn't get one. and cafeteria style meal at school? you're wrong. missouri's summer meals are given out in churches. your own state and you don't even know the simple facts?

    "my goal is not to replace parents, but to reinforce them. the solution is found in helping those near us, not in yet another gigantic federally funded mass market approach. bigger government invites fraud and robs people of the dignity of personal human relationships." you're wrong. your goal here is to try to take an efficient program providing needy kids millions of healthy meals at about two and a half bucks each and turn it into another wedge weapon of paranoia to use on the buffoons who would vote for a political hack like yourself.

    "my weekly capitol report is a way for me to have two-way communications with my constituents and not a national manifesto for you to mock, distort, and to be quoted out of context." you're wrong. there was no distortion, no loss of context, and any mocking done here you have richly earned, for today, for tomorrow, and for the rest of your tenure in public life, brief though the rest of us hope that might be.

    "yet to dare suggest there are alternatives for rational people to discuss and consequences of government taking over so much in people's lives is to be branded an inhuman monster..." hey, on this we agree. well phrased. you're right. you're an inhuman monster. and you chair the state's permanent committee for children? you are a positive menace to the health and well being of the children of missouri. resign. state representative cynthia davis of missouri once again, today's worst person in the world. and not for the last time...
    a missouri blog has more info on rep. davis:
    the case of the child in the highway
    in 2006, one of davis' children was found wandering aimlessly on and around a state highway.

    used campaign money to pay personal property taxesin 2004, davis used campaign funds to pay thousands in personal property taxes.

    believes fathers are not "natural nuturers"
    in february 2009, davis told a komu reporter that fathers are not "natural nurturers," then denied it. fortunately, davis' quote was captured on video.

    birther conspiracy theories
    in 2009, davis signed on to a lawsuit alleging that president barack obama is actually an indonesian man named barry soetoro who has illegally usurped the american presidency.