Summer hunger

June 12, 2013 — By The Chronicle-Tribune (Marion)

We believe that local schools and nonprofits shouldn’t have to be responsible for feeding kids throughout the year, even when school is not in session. But when the choice is hunger or adopting a family duty, by all means feed the children.
Seven Grant County locations are providing free breakfast and lunch to people under 18 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s summertime meal program.
There are no income qualifications for the meals. The program is open to anyone under 18.
We salute the people who work hard at providing the meals and we believe that those in need should definitely take advantage to assure no child in Grant County goes hungry.
But, and we know this is politically incorrect, we have to wonder why parents can’t be held accountable for feeding their children two-and-a-half months out of the year in a world where those classified as poor can often afford cars, cable television and air conditioning.
Make no mistake, we need the program. Too many children show up at school with growling stomachs when classes are in session. Basic care, including providing meals, cannot be an assumption in many local households.
Not feeding one’s children is neglectful. The numbers are saddening: more than 17 million children live in food insecure households and almost 25 percent of children in Indiana experience hunger.
We just don’t think it has to be that way and we don’t think the lousy economy is responsible for the large numbers. We think poor parenting is most often the culprit.
In Marion, turnout was reported as sparse for the first day of the program Thursday. No students came to breakfast or lunch at Justice Intermediate School, and only a few came to Marion High School. Because those schools serve their share of low income families, we are unsure whether to be disturbed so few showed and perhaps went hungry or pleased to think parents are able to feed their own children and are choosing to do it this summer.
We hope it is the latter.
The Chronicle-Tribune (Marion)

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