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the fact that we have a pretty big budget. So, my understanding from Grace Dubois at the Community Council, whom you probably know, is that the amount allocated has been reduced from, I think it was $103 million on the milk reimbursement program to maybe a third of that amount.
I don't know exactly what the figures are.
Mr. SCHEUER. Let me say this: Our staff counsel advises me that it has been reduced from $99 to $20 million. But, I may say that there is a well spring of sentiment in the Congress not to accept that reduction but to continue the program at its present level. May I also say that that is speculative, and that as far as you are concerned with your planning for the summer you are faced with a condition, not a theory.
The condition is that as of now the President has requested a drastically reduced appropriation which has been reflected in your being informed by the State agency that you are going to lose this $3,000. So that does impose an additional burden on you for this coming summer, does it not?
Mr. LEWIS. Well, it comes right on top of some, almost disastrous news that we have received about what things are going to cost. We make up our budget in October for the following year. So, we set our budget up in October and got it approved by our board of directors and aimed it at about what we thought we could raise.
We have just issued invitations to bid to grocery companies, meat companies, and we find that we badly underestimated what it would cost us to run the show this year. So, we really are in trouble.
Mr. PUCINSKI. I might inject here, Mr. Lewis, that I am reasonably sure that neither one of the proposals, the change in our lunch program nor the milk program, is going to have much success in this Congress.
If the way the subcommittee, Mrs. Green's subcommittee, voted yesterday on phasing out the National Defense Education Act is any indicator, then I would be reasonably certain that this effort to cut down the milk fund and the hot lunch program is not going to have much support in the Congress.
Do you share that view?
Mr. SCHEUER. I agree completely with what you say, Congressman Pucinski. Nevertheless, from Mr. Lewis' point of view they have to face the future with at least the possibility in mind that they are going to have this added burden. From their point of view, this emphasizes and reemphasizes the need for some financial help in providing a nutritious midday meal for these thousands of kids that they are serving over the entire summer.
Mr. LEWIS. I might say as a result of this we will in no way reduce the diet or change the meal schedule that we had planned. If we come up with a deficit this fall, why, we will somehow have to deliver. But a private organization cannot indefinitely go on in that way.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Mr. Lewis, I do not want in anyway to minimize the importance of this legislation or the gravity of your problem. But I wonder if I might at this point, since you do run a charitable institution, ask you whether or not the fact that we are now in our sixth consecutive year of economic expansion: we are topping a $720 billion gross national product; profits are at an all-time high, has
been reflected in any increased donations to worthwhile and laudible causes like your own?
Has there been any substantial increase in the contributions to charitable organizations, particularly to your own in the wake of this unprecedented prosperity.
Mr. LEWIS. I can only speak for our own organization because I haven't any figures on any other, but we have had a steady growth ever since 1947 when our income was $150,000 up to well over a million dollars last year. Now the million dollars includes gifts to endowment and gifts for capital purposes.
For sheer budgetary purposes our income has gone from about $150,000 up to $650,000 last year. The growth has been quite even. I would have expected that the sudden affluence of a lot of people, people who didn't use to be in a position to give and now are, and the much greater income of individuals with substantial means, might have made more of a dramatic change than it has. But then our position is one in which it must be remembered that we are in competition today, as we were not 25 years ago, with organizations doing the same thing
There was a time, you see, when the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund was virtually alone in this field.
Mr. SCHEUER. The New York Times had the hundred neediest cases in the wintertime and you have the fresh air camps in the
Mr. LEWIS. That was it. We have radio and television spots. I turn the TV on in the morning when I am shaving, and think I am hearing one of our commercials, but then it says at the end "Give to the Children's Aid Society,” or to the "City Mission Society," or what not.
Mr. PUCINSKI. If you ever want a more dramatic example of how the campaigns for contributions to charitable causes increase just sit at either Mr. Scheuer's desk or my desk. It is always open season on men in public office.
In an election year it just proliferates completely out of control. Everybody figures, well, this fellow is running for office, so he can't afford to say no. Those of us in public office really appreciate the problem.
Now I would not want my question to you and your answer to me to be in anyway interpreted that things are better for you because, while your donations have increased, I am sure that the cost of operations has increased far greater.
Mr. LEWIS. Enormously.
Mr. PUCINSKI. And I am sure you have increased the number of youngsters you are taking care of.
Mr. LEWIS. Yes, from 5,000 to 14,000.
Mr. LEWIS. In the program where children go to homes we start at 5. In the camping program we start at 9.
I would like to say that there is a feeling among certain people that as long as so much money is being given for welfare purposes
out of their taxes they think they have more or less done their share; you see, they are doing their philanthropy through the Internal Revenue Service. I don't know how important that feeling is. I hear it expressed occasionally.
Mr. SCHEUER. In terms of the expanded recognition of need, in terms of the increase in cost-you operate under real cost pressuresany help you can get from this program in providing a nutritious lunch I take it would be more than welcome.
Mr. LEWIS. That sizes it up. Mr. SCHEUER. It fortifies your funds for the going program. Mr. LEWIS. Yes, indeed. Mr. SCHEUER. I more or less followed the pattern, in drafting this bill, of the existing school lunch program, which includes children from ages 6 to 16. I am asking all of the witnesses whether they think that it would be beneficial if we extended this down to the Headstart group, which would be 3. It would add the 3-year-olds through the
5-year-olds. I take it in your summer camps you do not go below the
age of 5.
Mr. LEWIS. No, we don't.
Mr. SCHEUER. It would be helpful if they extended it down to include that group up through the 5-year-olds.
Mr. LEWIS. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Including the church programs, such as run by the Catholic Church, the YMCA, and Neighborhood House.
Mr. LEWIS. I would endorse that part, too.
Mr. SCHEUER. I thank you very, very much for such a thoughtful and professional statement.
I do want to take this opportunity of saying that I have visited your camps. I am impressed with the fact that you have provided nourishment to these children not only for their bodies but for their minds too. The architecture and design of your camps are of such a quality of excellence. They are so beautiful and so entrancing, that I hope it will prove a model for similar installations across the country.
I can't help believe that any child who goes to those camps for a couple of weeks will be nourished in heart, soul, and spirit and will feel people cared enough about him to place him in surroundings of great beauty.
Mr. LEWIS. Thank you.
Mr. SCHEUER. While this particular kind of nourishment is not involved in the bill we are proposing today and on which you are testifying, I can't help taking the opportunity of telling you how important I think the other kind of nourishment is which you have so amply and creatively provided.
Mr. Lewis. I appreciate that statement, sir.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Our next witness is the Honorable Herman Badillo, president of the borough of the Bronx.
We are indeed privileged to have you here, Mr. President. I hope you will overlook the slight delay in your testimony but we are very grateful to you that you would take time out from your very busy schedule-we appreciate how busy you are--to come down and testify in behalf of the children of your area.
We would like to call on our distinguished colleague, Mr. Scheuer, to welcome you to the committee.
Mr. SCHEUER. I am very, very happy to welcome our distinguished borough president here. I think it has been very rare in the political history of this city or any other city that I know of that a public official in such a very short time has made the mark that our borough president has made and has won the reputation for high intelligence, vigorous prosecution of exciting and innovative and creative programs. In a period literally of 90 days in office he has won the great respect of the citizens not only of the Bronx but all of New York City for the dramatic example that he has shown how a professionally skilled and highly motivated individual can take over a high office and provide a quality of service—a quality of professionalism in his staff-which was not in evidence before his accession to office and how he can give a new air of hope and confidence and aspiration, confidence in the future, to a borough like the Bronx which has a population in excess of a million and a half people. He could bring in a new breath of fresh air and a new life to America's second largest city.
So, it is with great pleasure and with great pride, being one of your constituents, Mr. Borough President, that I welcome you here today.
STATEMENT OF HON. HERMAN BADILLO, PRESIDENT, BOROUGH
OF THE BRONX
Mr. BADILLO. Thank you very much, Congressman Scheuer and Congressman Pucinski. I am pleased to be here. I want to thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to testify. Let me say it is not an effort at all. As a matter of fact, I consider it part of my duties as borough president of the Bronx to testify on important legislation such as this. I shall try to be brief and to the point.
In New York City where so many children come from homes that are at or below the poverty level, we have found that the lunch meal served under the National School Lunch Act operated under Public Law 346 is the single most important meal that these unfortunate children have during the entire day. Important in that it is usually the most nutritious meal they eat all day and important in that it is oftentimes the only hot meal of the day.
I have a prepared statement which I would like to introduce at this point.
Mr. SCHEUER. Your statement will be printed in its entirety in the record.
(The statement referred to follows:)
TESTIMONY OF HERMAN BADILLO, BOROUGH PRESIDENT OF THE BRONX Congressman Scheuer, members of the committee, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for permitting me to testify before the Subcommittee on Select Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor, on behalf of H.R. 9339, a bill to establish a Special Summer Lunch Program For Children.
I shall try to be brief and to the point. In New York City, where so many children come from homes that are at, or below, the poverty level, we have found that the lunch meal served under the National School Lunch Act, operated under Public Law 346, is usually the single most important meal that these unfortunate children have during the entire day. Important in that it is usually the most nutritious meal they eat all day and important in that it is oftentimes the only hot meal of the day. Type A lunches, which are served in most of the elementary, Jr. High Schools and High Schools of New York, provides from 1 to 72 of a child's daily nutritive requirements based upon recommended allowances of the National Academy of Science-National Research Council. The National School Lunch Act which became effective June 4, 1946, provided a permanent basis in law for annual Federal appropriations for the school lunch program. I think it importnat to recall that this Act, in its declaration of policy, states that "it is the policy of Congress, as a measure of national security to safeguard the health and well being of the Nation's children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food, by assisting the States, through grants-inaid and other means, in providing an adequate supply of food and other facilities for the establishment, maintenance, operation and expansion of non-profit school lunch programs.” This declaration of policy was not intended to apply only during the school year. Obviously, the need for such a program is year-round.
More than 500,000 children in over 1,000 schools in the five Boroughs of New York participate in this program, as do the children attending nearly 200 nonprofit, non-public schools. Many of these children, especially in the Negro and Puerto Rican areas of our city, come from homes where the mother of the home or both parents are out working and are not home during the day to prepare proper meals for their children. In far too many cases, when the mother or other relative is in the home, they cannot afford to provide the kind of meals required by school age children. There is ample evidence that lack of adequate or nutritiously balanced meals is an important factor in the learning progress of school children.
Experience indicates that children who receive lunches under this program, compared with those who do not, generally show more rapid gains in weight and height, better attendance records, improvement in scholastic standing, better deportment and a higher resistance to colds and other illnesses. I'd like to make clear that this does not only apply to Negro and Puerto Rican children who may come from more deprived homes than their classmates, this experience pattern applies to all of the children who participate in the program. Its great value is not limited to Negro and Puerto Rican children, but to all of our children because it aids them in developing proper and nutritiously beneficial food habits which, hopefully, carry over into later life. It is astonishing how many children come from well-to-do homes, where there is a great lack of proper knowledge about proper nutrition and diet.
The important point that I want to make is that there is very clear evidence of the need and importance of the School Lunch Program and that this need do not automatically stop in the summertime when children have school vacation. Many thousands of these children will be attending recreation centers, day camps, summer camps, community centers, and other activity centers designed to keep our children off the streets and creatively occupied.
Unless this Special Summer Lunch Program for Children Act is passed, 500,000 children will be denied the opportunity to continue receiving a proper lunchtime meal. It would be an act of extreme cruelty to cut these children off from such a vitally needed aid, and it will invoke a terrible hardship and financial burden on many thousands of families that are already living in a state of privation. In many cases it will necessitate requesting assistance from the Welfare Department and public and private social agencies, and can only increase the burdens the City of New York is now experiencing.
I cannot begin to tell you how disastrous the failure to approve this legislation will be to my own Borough of The Bronx. Perhaps the dimension of the problems can better be understood by pointing out that while the unemployment rate in New York City as a whole hovers around 5 percent of the work force, the Borough of The Bronx suffers from a 9.9 percent unemployment rate. And I might add that a large percentage of these people are either unemployable or have only marginal employment prospects. Additionally, employment prospects during the summer months tend to decline. To add to the problems of these families is unconscionable. I want to add that I am deeply distressed to learn that_the 1966–67 Federal Budget calls for a cut of $82 million for the special Milk Program from $103 million to $21 million. This reduction of almost 80 percent will reduce New York's allocation to an estimated $8.6 million and will necessitate an increase by children now paying two or three cents per half-pint of milk to six or seven cents.
This action, coupled with the failure to pass the Summer Lunch Legislation, can only have a devastating impact on the well being of our children. The health and welfare of our Nation's school children is an investment in the future which we cannot afford to scrimp on. To do so would be completely contrary to the purpose and intent of our poverty programs. We are presently engaged in a race to see if we can rescue our children from being foredoomed to the life of poverty and degradation many of their parents live under. If we fail to pass this Bill we will be helping to destroy the very base on which we hope to build the “Great