The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 2, 2013

Feeding our kids

The stories are out there, and we’ve heard them many times recently: West Virginia kids only getting fed when they come to school, some packing away part of the food from school to take it home to hungry siblings.

If this doesn’t concern us all, we’re wired improperly.

As a select Senate panel continues to delve into the state’s poverty problem, the entire Senate voted unanimously last week to support legislation that would institute public-private funding partnerships that would enable the state to become the nation’s first to make breakfast and lunch available to all students without charge.

We didn’t use the word free, because they will be paid for via federal and private funds, but kids and their parents won’t get a bill.

More than half of West Virginia’s school kids already qualify for reduced-price or free lunches under federal guidelines.

Nobody likes the idea that we have to have programs like this, but in this great country of ours we need to see to it that no child goes hungry, no matter the circumstances.

A kid being hungry impacts classroom performance. It also may impact attendance. We suspect both of those areas can be greatly improved with the assistance of this plan.

Now opponents of the proposal are already barking about “feeding millionaires’ kids.” That’s a childish argument. First, how many of West Virginia’s 282,310 come from homes whose parents are millionaires? The answer — very, very few.

Besides that, school kids who come from homes that are middle class or higher have relatively easy access to food outside the school and don’t experience the same issues with hunger that many of their classmates do.

But making the breakfast and lunch available to all kids in school is a good thing.

The United States has long tried to feed the hungry and clothe the poor of the world. Doing something to make sure we are properly addressing those in need right here in America needs to get more attention.

This idea does just that.

Text Only
  • Continuing the fight

    Solutions for drug war may need to be as tough as the problem

    April 16, 2014

  • Take me home

    You can go home again.

    April 15, 2014

  • Team work

    There is no doubt that last week’s announcement by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority of plans for a 500-acre Mega-Site development is one of the most visionary ideas we have seen in southern West Virginia.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 12, 2014

    April 12, 2014

  • Concord

    Impressive achievements in higher education reflected in quality of finalists for president

    April 10, 2014

  • Service

    In West Virginia, we often measure our “wealth” by all the things we can generally do without.

    April 9, 2014

  • Nutrition

    How much can we trust government to advise us on food?

    April 8, 2014

  • War on miners

    The federal government in the form of the Department of Health and Human Services has decided to cut funding for coal miners suffering from black lung disease by 35 percent.

    April 6, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 5, 2014

    April 5, 2014

  • Killer connection

    Police plan to keep you safe in crackdown on distracted driving

    April 3, 2014