Letter to John Burnett

Dear John Burnett,

I recently read your article in one of our local community newspapers,
(The Sojourner’s Truth- Oct 4, 2023). In it you described a recently introduced proposal, within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as a denial of free choice. It appears you’ve described Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposal, which introduces a prohibition from purchasing snacks, fruit juice and soda as “limiting options, and denying the deserved exercise of the freedom of choice.”

I agree with you that SNAP recipients are in need. But I strongly disagree that they are “fully capable of making their own food choices”. Because they do not!

Need I describe the circumstances of lives lived, near the poverty line? Most “choices” are circumscribed by slick advertising and targeted marketing. Why do you think “snacks, fruit juice and soda” are so readily available in certain areas? What nutritional value would the medical and health communities assign to the “choices” you so eagerly wish to preserve?

Marco Rubio is no advocate for much more than the dollars he shepherds. And as a self-proclaiming Republican, I recognize your need to service ideas above people.

About this issue, Rubio is right. Albeit perhaps for the wrong reasons. You, however, as an educator, are not only wrong, but duplicitous. You’re professing to promote freedom and independent values, while simultaneously
dictating self-inflicting damage upon the health of the underprivileged. Your concern is masked as the wolf in the hen house.

Ty Renfroe