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BREAKING: At State Fair, Todd Akin Says He Would End School Meal Program

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BREAKING: At State Fair, Todd Akin Says He Would End School Meal Program

Akin Believes Federal Government Should Have No Role in Education

St. Louis – Today, when speaking to reporters at the Missouri State Fair, Todd Akin called for an end to federal school lunch programs, saying "There's another good question of who should be doing that - is that something the federal government should be doing? I answer it 'no.'" Last year, more than 646,000 Missouri students relied on school nutrition programs in some way. Throughout the campaign, Akin has supported positions consistently outside Missouri's mainstream.

"When Todd Akin says he wants to protect tax giveaways for Big Oil, but we can't afford to provide school meals for children, you have to ask whose side is he on?" said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. "These school meal programs are critical to helping the kids who need it most in communities across the state--urban and rural, big and small. More than half of Missouri's students rely on school meal programs in some way, and it just goes to show how far Todd Akin is out of the mainstream that he would eliminate this program that helps make sure kids have the healthy meals they need to get through the day."

Akin's position is so outside the mainstream, even his Republican colleague, Rep. Vicki Hartzler, a former teacher and Tea Party Republican, said these programs are critical to helping students get through the day. In 2004, Akin was one of only five members of Congress to vote against the Republican bill to reauthorize school meal programs.

As reported by Rudi Keller at the Columbia Daily Tribune:

Every other Republican candidate in attendance at the fair today said they support school nutrition programs.

"I don't think so," U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, said when asked whether the program should be abolished. "I am a former teacher, and if a family is truly needy, it is appropriate for taxpayers."

In Congress, Akin has voted against school meal programs every time he has had the opportunity to do so.

The National School Lunches Program is a crucial tool the government utilizes to combat poverty and hunger in Missouri and throughout the country. Without the support of the federal government states would not be able to sustain the program leaving many more of Missouri's children hungry.

BACKGROUND

2010: Akin Was One of Only 13 Members to Vote Against a Resolution Expressing Support for the National School Lunch Program. In March 2010, Akin voted against House Resolution 362, a resolution expressing the support of the House of Representatives for the goals and ideals of the National School Lunch Program. [Vote 89, 3/4/10]

2010: Akin Voted Against Reauthorizing the National School Lunch Program. In December 2010, Akin voted against the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs though fiscal 2015, including the National School Lunch Program. [Vote 603, 12/2/10]

2004: Akin Was One of Only 5 Members to Vote Against Reauthorizing the National School Lunch Program. In March 2004, Akin voted against a bill that would reauthorize such sums as necessary through fiscal year 2008 for a number of child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, Child and Adult Care Food Program and After-School Snack Program. [Vote 82, 3/24/04]

646,000 Students Per Day Received Free or Reduced-Price Meals in Missouri in 2011. According to the USDA, 646,000 children per school day received free or reduced price meals in Missouri in FY 2011. [USDA, FNS Program Data]

Publication Date: 
Thursday, August 16, 2012