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Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 1999

HUNGRY CHILDREN

September 7, 1999

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To the editor:

Yesterday I heard a story that just made me cry. A principal at a Lawrence elementary school asked one of his pupils what he thought he was doing putting his leftover lunch in a sack. The child replied that he wouldn't have any supper so he wanted to take the food home for later.

The principal, of course, couldn't allow this because it's school policy that no food leave the cafeteria.

This, however, is a problem that all school staff run across at one time or another. How can we as a community allow our children and elderly to go hungry? Our government spends billions of dollars feeding people in other countries. Isn't it time to share the wealth with our people?

We need to do more to support programs such as Meals on Wheels. Institutions throw out tons of food each and every day simply because they can't keep it until the next time it's on their menu. There's nothing wrong with it if used before the date of expiration. Why can't this food be given to churches and organizations like Meals on Wheels for immediate distribution?

The facility and government health agencies forbid it. That's why.

Things need to change.

The government provides free and reduced breakfast and lunch. Why can't they provide dinner too? Even a sack with a sandwich and a piece of fruit or vegetable is better than nothing to a child who goes without. They don't want to pay the extra help. Well, there are plenty of parents that volunteer and would probably be more than happy to provide this service if they were simply asked.

People need to get more involved. Friends and neighbors open your eyes.

A few years ago we pulled together to solve the "latch key kids" problem by offering before and after school care. Both parents and faculty volunteered. Now it's time to help the hungry children. A child shouldn't have to try to sneak food home for dinner.

Tressa Hall,

Oskaloosa.

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