This morning the New York Times reports on impending reductions and cuts in the Medicaid program.

For those who work with lower income families and individuals this may be time to begin considering programs and approaches supporting people in more healthy living. Last night’s discussion at the Urban Forum brought up the subject of aiding with the wrong kind of food. Jonathan Bird gave as an example how in Canada caffeine, starches and sugars, scarce vegetable/fruit, let alone the reduced nutritional value of out-dated food items may satisfy but also adversely affects those who receive these foods from soup kitchens and pantries. Jonathan mentioned this in regards to the unique health needs of First Nations peoples.

Physical health and emotional well-being can be goals of our charitable efforts with food. Short term, something in the stomach is needed. But long range, the abundant, full life Jesus calls all to must also compel those of us who work with people to seek their better healthier good. If we could do nothing about it, it would be understandable.

But that’s not so. We can do something better than empty calories, and may I say it? Do we really want to echo and support the least healthy patterns of current American food culture?

Perhaps our Kroc Centers can address this in their mission to underserved populations. There might be a little irony to this, but we ought to see it as an opportunity to redeem an opportunity and a name, eh?