At a time when Congress and the White House are scrambling to keep major corporate titans from pulling us all down into an economic depression, it is essential that they also take steps to make sure ordinary people don't go hungry.

In Washington state, nearly 22,000 more people were receiving food stamps this August compared to last year. This number is expected increase substantially with a loosening in eligibility requirements in October.

This dry statistic merely hints at the tremendous pain and embarrassment felt by Washington's proud people at the need to ask anybody for help meeting basic living expenses. Far too many families are floundering in the sticky muck of bad times.

Officials need to keep government aid programs topped up. In particular, no child should ever have to go to bed without a nutritious meal.

Beyond this, of course, the ultimate solution lies in correcting the economic and regulatory blunders of the past eight years. We need leaders to look after our own wellbeing instead of squandering lives and treasure in foreign adventures.

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