Letter about school lunches…
To the Editor,
When GOP Sen. Jeremy Miller and other Republicans got the opportunity to vote for a simple idea to save money for parents across the state, almost all of them, including Miller, voted against it.
This year, students in public schools receive free meals, regardless of their household income. As parents will remember, meals were free across the country during the pandemic, to help struggling families. Last year, with that funding cut off, area schools raised their food prices or chose to just cover the costs of unpaid lunch balances. Those costs add up and hit some families (and school districts) quite hard. Our government is tasked with providing equal education for all our children.
Yet when this legislation came up in the Senate, Miller’s Republican colleagues stood up one by one to speak against it. Senator Steve Drazkowski (SD 20, who serves the Olmsted side of Chatfield) even testified that he didn’t believe hunger was an in issue in our area.
I remember when I was in elementary school that I had to work as an assistant when lunches were served so that I could get free lunches. I was embarrassed that I had to do that but we were poor and my mother had to make sure we were able to eat lunch so she had to arrange for a way to enable us to do so. I have only realized since I returned to Preston to retire, how difficult it must have been for her to admit that we needed that help and force us to accept those terms. I am fortunate that I lived in a community where that was even possible. We are living in a world that has come to see poor people as lazy. My parents weren’t lazy! They were trying to make sure we had what we needed and they weren’t able to provide us at that time in their lives.
Going forward, our students will be better able to learn, their parents will be less stressed financially, and school districts will have less administrative work. That’s great for our community. It’s too bad Jeremy Miller didn’t see it that way.