Mississippi Governor blasted for ending free program to feed kids

Mississippi Governor blasted for ending free program to feed kids

Mississippi's governor has announced the state's withdrawal from a federal summer feeding program. The governor calls the vote a rejection of “attempts to expand the welfare state.”

Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has declined to participate in a federal program that gives low-income households EBT cards.

According to Mississippi Today, these vouchers assist cover food expenditures during academic breaks. To cover the school break, eligible families received $40 each month, totaling $120.

Mississippi's welfare department disagreed with Governor Reeves, saying the state lacks the competence to run the program.

Mark Jones, Mississippi Department of Human Services spokesperson, said, “Both the Mississippi Department of Education and the Department of Human Services lack the resources, including workforce capacity and funding, to support a summer EBT program.”

Recent statements by Governor Reeves have drawn criticism. Scholar and 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones called Reeves's choice “cruelty.”

In a Twitter post, Nikole Hannah-Jones said, “The cruelty of being the poorest state in America and choosing – choosing – to turn down federal aid for poor children to eat.”

Keith Boykin, author and co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, noted that Mississippi welfare dollars had been used for sports stadiums.

Mississippi awarded retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre millions in welfare cash to build a volleyball facility for his daughter's school, but they won't take federal funds to feed poor children. Keith Boykin on X (previously Twitter) said Republicans despise handouts for impoverished kids.

According to The New York Times, Governor Reeves is one of 15 Republican governors who have refused the federally sponsored summer food program. Alabama, Oklahoma, Alaska, Florida, South Carolina, South Dakota, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming also left the program.

Families receiving free or reduced lunch will lose $2.5 billion in government food assistance for almost 8 million children. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Governor Reeves chose not to join in the program in December.

Governor Reynolds questioned the government assistance program's “long-term” efficacy. She said that an EBT card “does nothing to promote nutrition at a time when childhood obesity has become an epidemic.”

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, who has refused federal aid, told The Washington Post that he does not “believe in welfare.”

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