Today, one out of five of Maine’s children isn’t sure when they’ll get their next meal or where it will come from. They are among the 200,000 Mainers who live with food insecurity, a vulnerability that many of us simply can’t imagine. And yet a recent farm bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives calls for a drastic cutback of funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). A more generous, bipartisan bill is now before the U.S. Senate.

As a person of faith, as a proud Mainer and as a human being, I am sickened when I see children going hungry. The same people in Congress who found the resources and the will to give massive tax breaks to millionaires and corporations are now telling us that we just can’t afford to feed these kids and their parents, many of whom work multiple jobs to keep their families afloat.

The Donald Trump-Republican vision of America abandons any pretense of compassion in favor of a “survival of the fittest” ethos. We can do better. We must do better.

I urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to vote to preserve and strengthen SNAP, an effective and necessary piece of America’s social compact, an expression of basic human decency and the belief that we are all responsible for one another, especially the most vulnerable.

The Rev. Dr. James Gertmenian

Cumberland Foreside