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Somebody please explain to Congressman Jim Hagedorn how poverty works

Jim Hagedorn: “Nobody [in America] goes to sleep at night wondering if they’ll be able to feed their families.”

Jim Hagedorn: “Nobody [in America] goes to sleep at night wondering if they’ll be able to feed their families.” Gen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Last week, Minnesota Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-Blue Earth) stood in the Worthington Fire Hall and expressed his appreciation for agriculture.

“Agriculture is a national security issue,” he said, according to The Globe. Hagedorn grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Truman and serves on the House Ag Committee.

In fact, it was because of agriculture, he said, that “nobody [in America] goes to sleep at night wondering if they’ll be able to feed their families.”

Jim? Jim?

As wondrous and bountiful as America’s yield is, it still routinely fails to feed everyone in the country. It's estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are “food insecure,” a polite way of saying they often go without. That translates to roughly 40 million people, 12 million of them children.

The Globe later ran a clarification, specifying that Hagedorn was referring to “the availability of food in grocery stores, and America having a food supply that is abundant and nutritious in stark comparison to other countries.”

That's true. There's a lot of food to go around. But only for those who can afford it. 

According to Feeding America, people get laid off, get slammed by medical bills, or live in housing that eats up most of their paycheck. One bad month is all it takes before you wake up not knowing how to feed your kids, and a grocery store full of food can’t help you.

Hagedorn didn’t immediately answer interview requests, but a spokesperson pointed to the clarification the Globe ran as a means of response. 

It should be noted that Hagedorn was the sole member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation not to sign a letter in support of MinnesotaCare, which helps some 80,000 people in his state pay for health care. It now faces a cut in federal funding. A spokesperson from his office told MinnPost last week that he’d sent his own letter questioning the change.

Some of his previous takes include comparing former President Barack Obama’s campaign to a “low-budget remake of Eddie Murphy’s hit comedy Coming to America,” that consensual sex between two men was “deviancy,” and that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was “hot.”

When he spoke to City Pages during his 2018 run for office, he said he stood by all of them.