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Free meals right decision; kids can't help poverty

When I read the letter from Jeanette Jaquish (“FWCS fosters dependence through free-meal plan,” July 21), it made me very sad. She said she is “deeply disturbed by the unanimous vote of the Fort Wayne Community School Board to give free breakfast and lunch to all students in elementary through middle school.” She said children should eat at home and learn to make their own meals.

She speaks of fictional books in which people refused “charity.” I do not consider the feeding of children as “charity.” I believe it is, as Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson said, “The right thing to do.”

Ms. Jaquish says she was “poor for half of her life,” but obviously she has no knowledge of what true poverty is. Not all children have the luxury of following her advice of eating hash browns and eggs or even cold cereal before leaving home. It is doubtful that Ms. Jaquish has experienced an empty refrigerator and an empty pantry.

Children are not in control of their food supply. Food is a basic need. There are many children whose parents are either unable or unwilling to provide. This is not the fault of the child.

There is no way to know who does and who does not need the free meals. If all are fed, there is no discrimination and no excuse for judgment.

No child should have to worry about food. The sad fact is that many do. Those meals mean the world to more children than we will ever know.


Fort Wayne