“Let us renew that spirit by sharing the abundance of this day with those less fortunate, in our own land and abroad. Let us renew that spirit by seeking always to establish larger communities of brotherhood.” -- John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving proclamation.
I am hoping this year to add one more item to the menu: a small serving of conscience. For as we gorge ourselves, Congress is contemplating drastic cuts in food aid for the least of our brethren. Food stamps, formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for the Poor, or SNAP, help poor people eat -- simple as that.
And I mean poor. The average SNAP household has a gross income of just $744 per month. I'll bet House Speaker John Boehner spends more than that each month just on cigs and merlot. Requirements to receive food stamps have become so tight that Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, estimates that only 57% of food-insecure Americans are even eligible for food stamps. Can you imagine being too poor to afford food, but too "rich" to qualify for food stamps?
The needy in America are not "them." The needy in America are "us." The year that we get that will be the happiest Thanksgiving of them all.