Candy from a Baby

National School Lunch Program, Author USDA (PD - Federal agency)

National School Lunch Program, Author USDA (PD – Federal agency)

‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me’ ” (Matt. 25: 45).

The fraud making headlines these days can run into the billions.  Ten million dollars may not seem an extraordinary amount, by those standards.  Still, it is substantial enough…especially when you realize that the stolen money was meant to feed hungry children.

A dozen people have been arrested in Arkansas for a scheme that drained funds from a federal program to fight hunger.  The program provides dinners, during the school year, and meals at community centers, during the summer months, to underprivileged children who would not otherwise have enough to eat.

The evidence suggests that employees of the Arkansas Dept. of Health Services responsible for administering the program approved wildly inflated claims, some by non-existent entities, in exchange for bribes.

The defendants have been charged with bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering.  Nine have pleaded guilty.  Statutory penalties will apply.  How much restitution may actually be possible has not yet been determined.

Arkansas has one of the highest rates of child hunger in the United States.  More than 275,000 children in the state qualify for free or reduced lunch.  The ten million dollars could have purchased 2.7-3.2 million meals.

An awful lot of milk and cookies never reached the table.  But stealing that food from the children who needed it was as easy as taking candy from a baby.

[1]  The Washington Post, “ ‘Mortified’:  Inside a $10M scheme to steal federal funds intended to feed hungry children” by Amy Want, 9/8/16,  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/08/inside-a-10m-scheme-to-steal-federal-funds-intended-to-feed-hungry-children/.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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10 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Christianity, Community, Justice, Law, Neglect, Poverty, Religion

10 responses to “Candy from a Baby

  1. Monochrome nightmares

    Dear God.
    What is wrong with America?
    What happened to the American dream?
    To steal from hungry children is incomprehensible.

  2. Sobering,to say the least Anna, and depending upon who’s statistics you want to believe, upwards of 16 million children are undernourished in America. This includes those who get little if anything to eat as well as those who get little if anything of nutritional value.

    One must ask the question: how on earth is this even possible? For certain, as your post indicates there are many hands(illegally)in the cookie jar. Thieves abound of every sort and at every level. Yet it takes a callous heart indeed to steal from hungry children. Obviously,those guilty of such crimes have never been hungry for if they had I believe they would possess a conscious.

    This entire situation brings to light a delicate issue. To reduce these programs in order to curtail fraud and abuse harms the innocent who desperately need good food to eat. On the other hand to continue to pour resources into programs that apparently have no system of checks and balances is a recipe for even more fraud.

    I guess when it comes right down to it, the best we can do is to do our best by doing the right thing and see to it that children do not go hungry. In the end,a Righteous Judge will sort it all out one day.

  3. It is so sad.. it happens more than we realize.. When I wrote Charity Fraud I was almost hesitant, but elderly people are being duped into giving from their Social Security to fraudulent charities.. May the Lord expose them all..

  4. How did I miss this? Right in my back yard. Thanks, Anna

  5. Thanks for exposing this Anna, and Ron Whited’s comments are additional food for thought (no pun intended!) What new “lows” can people sink to? Stealing food from children – there are no words!

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