In a July 21 letter, the writer was concerned that expansion of the Fort Wayne Community Schools’ free meal program will foster dependence and irresponsibility in the children and families who will benefit.
Children have no say regarding the circumstances of their birth and family. They are dependent upon their families, schools and communities until they become adults themselves.
Statistics indicate that in 2012,23.4 percent of Allen County children younger than 18 lived in poverty. Recent figures indicate that some level of poverty exists in all Fort Wayne ZIP codes.
The Community Eligibility Provision of the US Department of Agriculture school lunch program is an option when more than 40 percent of a school district’s students are certified to receive free/reduced lunches. In 2013, 70.5 percent of FWCS students qualified. FWCS had more than 200 homeless children in its school population. Without free meals at school, many of these children would come to school without breakfast, and some would not have lunch. While it is important to teach responsibility, what is being taught (or learned) at school when a child can think of nothing but his gnawing stomach?
Children can and do endure unfortunate family circumstances and grow up to overcome and better their conditions. But perhaps we can make the way a little easier for someone else in need. The success of all is beneficial to society generally.