Enterprise-Record (Chico)

A dangerous time for a cut in nutrition

- — Jesica Giannola, Chico

The Federal Government announced a $3 Bbllion dollar cut from monthly Calfresh benefits (food stamps) as of March 1st.

Things are about to get so much harder on communitie­s, including ours.

Pick a population, and we are all impacted.

Seniors: We all know someone that will be hungry if they aren’t already. Fixed incomes challenge access to regular nutrition.

People with disabiliti­es and chronic illness: Without adequate nutrition, their bodies fail to heal properly and are prone to infections that can cut their life short.

Students: Students struggle to concentrat­e on studies and their future with empty stomachs. My college student is near starving now as she struggles financiall­y — no joke.

Families: Parents worry about how to provide for their growing babies. I have loved ones that fit this demographi­c too. Parents sacrifice to put their children first, but even then it’s not always enough, depending on Calfresh.

Malnutriti­on stunts growth, reduces brain capacity, and forces children to grow under chronic stress and fatigue. It changes who they could have become, making them susceptibl­e to illness, future poverty, incarcerat­ion, victims of abuse, increased risk of substance abuse, lower paying jobs as they get older, homelessne­ss, and high school dropout occurrence­s.

It will take a village to navigate hard times ahead. Our community cares for each other, with the have-little often sharing with the have-nots. Unbelievab­ly, our city council denied discussion to allow for a simple community fridge where people starving to neardeath can find something safe and nutritious to eat.

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