Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez announced today that he wants Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier to resign after she wrote in a draft document that there is no hunger in New Mexico.
New Mexico is generally ranked near the top of the nation of food insecurity and hunger.
“There has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico,” Sidonie Squier wrote.
Squier’s department oversees the state’s SNAP program, which provides food assistance to needy New Mexicans.
“Lack of nutrition is not at the root of the hunger problem so prevalent in our state; it is poverty,” Sancehz said. “The hungry need to know that their struggles are not only acknowledged and understood, but that there is a plan to help them, regardless if Secretary Squier thinks it’s the ‘easy’ way out.”
Earlier this summer, a study showed that New Mexico has the highest rate of childhood hunger in the country. The study found that about 30 percent of the state’s children suffer from hunger.
Squier has also been under fire for her handling of the behavioral health audit.
At one point, she “stormed out” of a hearing on the suspension of funding to mental health providers.
Gov. Susana Martinez responded to Squier’s email on hunger, saying, “I was surprised at the way it was stated because never has there ever been a disagreement as to the issues of hunger.”
She also said she was surprised at how poorly worded Squier’s email was.
Squier responded to KOAT, by saying her email was poorly worded.