Saturday, April 20, 2024

Landry’s Rejection of Federal Food Aid Draws Criticism from Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell

by BIZ Magazine

Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has voiced strong criticism against Governor Jeff Landry’s refusal of federal aid intended to provide food assistance to underprivileged children during the summer months. Drawing parallels to former Governor Bobby Jindal’s contentious decisions regarding federal aid, Campbell warned that Landry risks following a similar path.

The $71 million Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer Program, which Landry has declined, aimed to provide families near or below the poverty line with up to $40 per month per child to purchase food. With Louisiana ranking second in the nation for poverty, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that nearly 600,000 children in the state could benefit from the program.

In his statement, Campbell pointed out previous instances where federal aid was rejected by Louisiana leaders, including Jindal’s refusal of funds for passenger-rail service and high-speed internet projects. Expressing concern over Landry’s decision, Campbell emphasized the urgency of addressing the issue of childhood hunger.

“Is Jeff Landry the next Bobby Jindal?” questioned Campbell, highlighting the potential consequences of turning down essential aid meant to alleviate hunger among children in the state.

Campbell urged Landry to prioritize the well-being of Louisiana’s youth over political considerations, emphasizing that the solution to childhood hunger should not be complicated. He noted that the opportunity to accept the food program was also present during former Governor John Bel Edwards’ tenure but was not acted upon.

“If Jeff Landry doesn’t want to be compared to Bobby Jindal, he should stop trying to score political points in Washington, D.C., and do what’s right for his state,” Campbell concluded.

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