By Jules Oldroyd, Administrative Intern
I have lived in Danville, California for the majority of my childhood and adult life. My hometown is known for a variety of things, like its country clubs, attractive soccer moms, prestigious schools, and its abundance of lavish grocery stores. During my youth I went to parks and had picnics outside with my family. We had apricot trees and a trampoline resting on green grass in our backyard. My brothers and I rode our bikes downtown together and returned home, safely, flushed with endorphins. I always felt comfortable, healthy, and I was happy.
It took me nearly twenty-two years to fully understand the privileges intrinsically given to me, and to appreciate the simplicity of my childhood and life today. In Danville, I was never exposed to social and environmental injustices, like a lack of fresh water, fruits and vegetables. It never occurred to me that people in our country are prevented from accessing their basic human needs. I never thought policies would make it difficult to live and maintain healthy, normal lives.
I joined CFJC after graduating with a B.S. in Health Education from San Francisco State University. It was during these two years in my upper division classes and the three months at CFJC that exposed me to the realities of society. These revelations were shocking, upsetting, liberating, and humbling. During this time, I became aware of how beneficial programs, like SNAP, are for our country’s most vulnerable and underserved. I now understand how our government will impact low-income populations if it prevents them from affordable, healthy foods. I found that if I drive fifteen minutes from my house, I could reach neighborhoods that are in need of SNAP and government funded programs. Regardless of income, every girl and boy deserves to grow up with a childhood like mine. I am not more deserving of a fortunate, prosperous life because I happened to be born in an affluent community. We are all human; we are all innately given the same rights, therefore it is critical we hold Congress accountable and these rights seriously. Even if affluent communities may not reap the immediate, tangible benefits of policies like the Farm Bill, there are families deserving of healthy lives that will.