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(TRENTON) — Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Friday in which she expresses her concern over the continued elimination of more than $5.5 million in funding for the state’s School Breakfast and School Lunch programs in Gov. Christie’s FY 2012 proposed budget.

Funding for these programs help provide nutritious meals for school children of families operating at or near the poverty line.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblywoman Pou talking about the impact of the cuts and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of comments from Assemblywoman Pou follows:

Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), Assembly Appropriations Committee chairwoman:
“Cutting $5 million from the reduced and free breakfast and lunch programs is going to create even greater hardship for many of the hardworking families at this moment.

“For many of the students, this is the only meal that they’re going to have during the day. Reducing this, or cutting these funds, will certainly create, not only hardship on many of the families and the students, but it’s certainly going to impact and affect their education.

“This is another example of Gov. Christie trying to balance his budget on the backs of those individuals that can least afford it.

“While I understand that these are very difficult times, and that we have to do something in terms of reducing the budget, it cannot be done on the backs of those who can least afford it.”