BUSH: Questions Whether 5% of Texans Go Hungry
GOP presidential hopeful and Texas Gov. George W. Bush has "sparked criticism from advocates for the poor" after he said he did not believe a federal report that Texas is the second hungriest state and that 5% of Texas families sometimes go hungry, the AP/Foster's Daily Democrat reports. While stumping in New Hampshire, Bush said, "I'm sure there are some people in my state who are hungry. I don't believe 5% are hungry." Texas food bank officials have taken issue with Bush's statements. They said food distribution in some areas is 38% higher than it was in 1998. Amelia Gonzalez, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Victoria, TX, said, "Where can I get a hold of Mr. Bush? I'd like him to come visit our food bank to see how empty our shelves are right now. We're scrounging for food." Bush has "suggested the report ... might have been released to embarrass him." He said, "I'm surprised a report floats out of Washington when I'm running a presidential campaign." But Andy Solomon, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, which issued the report, denied any intent to embarrass Bush. He said, "It might be tough to believe that during the best economy in generations, hunger persists in America and in Texas, but as our study and as food banks in the governor's state can tell you, it does" (Vertuno, 12/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.