By Kia Croom
Pastor Nathaniel Foster of Greater El Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond joins those who oppose the proposed penny-per-ounce soda tax.
Foster is concerned the tax targets Richmond, which boasts higher rates of poverty, though it does not apply to neighboring cities like San Pablo and El Cerrito. He is also disturbed about the financial implications of the tax on families in Richmond.
“Higher prices in these economic times will be hard on the families,” he said. “We just had a grocery bag giveaway at our church, and the lines for food were astronomical. Families are already struggling – so adding more money can be devastating.”
According to Foster, the proper way to fight obesity, especially among youth, is through health and nutritional education and extracurricular activities and sports.
“We need to bring back physical education to the schools that have cut P.E. programming, create community sports teams for kids who may not be a part of their schools’ sports teams, not raise costs that impact our families,” he said.