Public Health New Mexico
6:37 am
Thu September 26, 2013

NM Human Services Secretary Under Fire For 'No Hunger' Email

LULAC New Mexico State Director Ralph Arellanes responded Wednesday at the Veteran's Memorial Center in Albuquerque to HSD Secretary Sidonie Squier's comments about evidence of hunger among children in the state.
LULAC New Mexico State Director Ralph Arellanes responded Wednesday at the Veteran's Memorial Center in Albuquerque to HSD Secretary Sidonie Squier's comments about evidence of hunger among children in the state.
Credit Natalia Jácquez

  In an email to New Mexico state leaders Human Services Department Secretary Sidone Squier said quote “There has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico.”

Those remarks did not sit well with many around the state.

Ralph Arellanes is State Director with New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens - or LULAC for short. He says he was taken aback by the Secretaries comments.

Arellanes (22:40:00): That’s like saying “oh, well there’s not really water in the ocean.” I mean, give me a break. It’s obvious that New Mexico is the poorest state. You know, we rank 50th in the country for quality of life programs for our children and for our families, and directly tied to poverty and hunger, and that leads to problems with education, buying a home, buying a car. Quality of life issues effects everything. And for her to say this is appalling to us and our community it’s very insensitive

A recent United Health Foundation report found one out of every five NM seniors weren’t getting enough to eat. While another study by Feeding America ranked NM first for child hunger.