Independent reader: Free breakfast and lunch isn't free; takes responsibility away from parents

Dear Rep. Bonomici:

Regarding The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act (news published Aug. 19, 2020):

Free breakfast, lunch and after-school meals! (Nothing is free, it is just a question of who pays.) Am I hearing correctly? No application process! There is no need to verify eligibility! I beg your pardon! Who is responsible to feed children? I mean children with one or more parents and/or other extended family. Your answer in the recent newspaper article is that it ought to be the reponsibility of the "collective state." The cost ought to be born, you say, by all citizens who pay taxes.

Consider that when it is discovered that a citizen has harbored animals, be it dogs, cats or horses, and those animals are found to be significantly underfed and malnourished, the parties responsible are called to account, charged with negligence or cruelty. Yet with children, you do not so much as ask the question, "Who is rightly and righteously responsible for meeting their most basic needs"?

The answer should be obvious. Their parents, and that without question or argument. What motivates a culture to require justifiable responsibility to keepers of animals and ignore the expectation of responsible action regarding their own children?

Is not failure to adequately provide food and shelter an act of neglect? Is there not such a designation as "child neglect"? It is not the place and purpose of the public school to feed children. That is rather the express responsibility of parents. It ought to be at the top of the list of their (the parents') priorities.

If there be orphans, indeed; by that I mean those with no parents and no close extended family, then the charity of churches, civic groups and communities has demonstrated, many times over, willingness and generosity to provide for those basic needs. The bureaucratic state should be a resource of last resort and rarely, if ever, needed or used for this purpose. We are in grave danger of losing any remaining vestiges of personal responsibility so much wanted in our day.

Further irresponsibility is evident in indiscriminately dispensing borrowed taxpayer monies (no demonstrated need required), monies which add to an already astronomical debt to be passed on to our posterity.

Merle Stutzman


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