Letters to the Editor
March 3, 2017

Kansans in need

I read with interest Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore’s Feb. 26 letter to the editor regarding the Kansas experiment with safety-net programs. I disagree that this experiment has been successful.

Twenty-two thousand more Kansas children live in poverty today than at the start of the Great Recession. More children are in foster care than ever before. Food pantries and school backpack programs see food insecurity every day.

The Legislature is considering several reasonable improvements to safety-net programs. These include allowing nonprofit agencies to help families apply for nutrition assistance via telephone. Allowing families to complete the 28-page application by phone would expedite much-needed aid and save extra expense of gas money or loss of work time to file a paper application.

Gilmore wrote that low-income Kansans are “locked in lives of poverty and government dependence.” Don’t be mistaken. All the advocates who support improving safety-net programs work hard to lift people out of poverty.

As a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, I was proud to stand with Catholic Charities, Harvesters, the Kansas Food Bank, Kansas Action for Children, KC Healthy Kids, Kansas Appleseed and others to advocate for the legislative changes.


Therese Bangert

Kansas City, Kan.

See the sign

A sign on the front door of a store in Independence says, “Please, before stealing ask permission. Thank you.”

Is this a sign of the times? How sad.

Alice Jean Williams


Global poverty

While the political landscape is largely focused on issues inside the United States, we cannot forget those outside our nation who struggle to live on less than $2 per day to live.

I encourage everyone to visit borgenproject.org for more information on how we can continue to battle extreme global poverty.

The Borgen Project promotes innovations in poverty reduction and builds awareness of successes already occurring. One of the biggest myths about global funding is that America spends 20-25 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid; in reality, less than 1 percent goes to assist the world’s poor. So much more can be spent on foreign aid.

When a country is no longer poverty-stricken, it is likely to spend on products that come from the U.S., and it is also likely to strengthen its fight against ISIS. Poverty-stricken countries submit to ISIS because they have no other option to bring in money.

The Borgen Project is building awareness of the economic, national security and diplomatic reasons for strong U.S. leadership in addressing global poverty.

Tyler Dixon

Overland Park

A big plus

One of the biggest advantages of old age is that though I may seem invisible, I see and observe almost everything. I’m sure other seniors know exactly where I’m coming from.

Thomas Moran


Job counts

President Donald Trump and the Republican administration like to make a big deal about the jobs they save — a Carrier plant in Indiana, a Ford plant in Michigan and so on. Trump also likes to tout the coal jobs he will save once his environmental agenda is in place.

Now there’s a report that his administration plans to cut 3,000 employees from the Environmental Protection Agency. (March 2, 2A, “White House proposes cutting EPA staff by one-fifth”)

I guess those jobs don’t matter? Maybe he’s counting on those laid off to get jobs in the coal mines.

Richard Pund


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