USDA Withdraws Government-Funded Pro-Food Stamp Soap Operas
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Following criticism from conservative circles, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pulled its Spanish-language radio programs designed to inform Hispanics about the federal food-stamp program.
A conservative website, The Daily Caller, ran a story last week by Caroline May about the USDA’s radio novelas, or Spanish-language soap-opera-type public service announcements (PSAs), noting that the outreach could assist illegal immigrants gain knowledge about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). May cited this closing teaser from one episode of “Parque Alegria” (“Happiness Park”): “Will Claudia convince Ramon to apply for SNAP? “Don’t miss our next episode."
This week, the USDA pulled the novelas from its website.
Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, told The Daily Caller, that “the American people support helping those in need, but they want to know their tax dollars are being spent wisely.”
Concannon added that “many of the PSAs and ads on the agency’s website were posted nearly 4 years ago and some of the content in these advertisements does not meet the standards of what I consider to be appropriate outreach.”
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, criticized the USDA for the outreach program and accused it of trying to enroll immigrants, “including non-citizens,” in SNAP.
Sessions also said the USDA suffers from a “broken culture” and needs to be reformed.
To Learn More:
USDA Buckles, Removes Spanish Food Stamp Soap Operas From Website (by Caroline May, Daily Caller)
USDA Uses Spanish Soap Operas To Push Food Stamps Among Non-Citizens, Citizens (by Caroline May, Daily Caller)
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