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Louisiana Governor Under Fire for Rejecting USDA's Summer EBT Program, Leaving Children's Nutrition at Risk

Updated: Feb 26



BATON ROUGE, La - Criticism mounts against Louisiana Governor's decision to opt out of the USDA's summer EBT program, a move that jeopardizes children's access to essential nutrition during the summer break. Despite nationwide initiatives, Louisiana's refusal to participate raises concerns about the welfare of vulnerable students.


In contrast to the state's stance, East Baton Rouge (EBR) Public Schools remains resolute in ensuring students receive meals over the summer. Dr. Nichola Hall of EBR Public Schools reaffirmed their commitment to feeding children during the break, highlighting the program's longstanding presence irrespective of federal support.


While EBR Public Schools persists in its efforts, the Governor's rejection of the USDA's program leaves many questioning his priorities. With an estimated cost of $292,000 for food provision, the state's failure to engage with federal assistance underscores a lack of concern for addressing food insecurity among children.


Organizations like One Rouge Coalition and Healthy BR have stepped in to fill the void, collaborating with EBR Public Schools to mitigate the impact of the Governor's decision. However, their efforts may not fully compensate for the absence of federal support, raising doubts about the state's commitment to ensuring all children have access to adequate nutrition.


As approximately 25,000 students in East Baton Rouge rely on free meals, the Governor's refusal to participate in the summer EBT program is viewed as a disregard for the well-being of vulnerable youth. Critics argue that prioritizing political posturing over children's welfare reflects misplaced priorities and a failure of leadership.


In light of the significant role nutrition plays in academic performance and overall well-being, the Governor's decision to reject federal assistance draws sharp condemnation. Advocates stress the need for comprehensive and inclusive strategies to address food insecurity, emphasizing that no child should go hungry due to bureaucratic decisions.

 

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