According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Philadelphia has an 11 percent unemployment rate. Ride around any neighborhood and look at our homes with foreclosure signs on them. Everybody is tightening his or her belt, and the announcement of $25 million to provide an overglorified Healthy Eating 101 course is a slap in the face to those Philadelphians who lost their jobs and homes to the slumping economy.
Teaching kids what to eat starts at home. The argument that lower-income families do not have the funds or access to buy fresh fruits and vegetables falls on the deaf ears of a child whose parents raised nine kids and taught them to eat our vegetables and fruits. It starts at home, and it's the parents' responsibility for their children's diets, not stimulus money.
So if you give them soda and chips when they are young, that's probably what they will buy when they go to the corner store. Why must we waste $25 million for what common sense gives us for free? Chips, soda, candy, and snacks aren't the best foods to give your kids. Smoking isn't good for you. I know that firsthand. But don't use federal stimulus money to do the job of parents and common sense. Would we give out more stimulus money to make sure people know it's not safe to play in traffic or hold metal rods above their heads during a lightning storm?
Joan L. Krajewski
City Council, Sixth District