Alternatives Suggested To Keep Kids Fed

Advertisement

Editor:

I thank Pete Aleshire (in Friday’s Aug. 15 editorial) for picturing me as a caring, civic-minded person.

I absolutely do care about children and families that struggle to put food on the table. When I was questioning the federal program in which the school district provides free and reduced price breakfasts and lunches to students, even during school breaks and over the summer, I remembered my pledge to look out for the taxpayers’ money. I admit that when I get flustered I speak without thinking things through, and never intended to put down parents or call them names.

However, this federal program, which was originally intended to help families through temporary tough financial times, has become an institution in itself. My point was, there needs to be some accountability — some “hand up” to go with the “hand out” to prevent enabling parents into long-term dependency and to become once again responsible for feeding their own children.

I suggested during the board meeting that churches or other civic organizations sponsor/encourage financial counseling, i.e. family budgeting, business skills, or require AA/NA meetings for those who need that kind of help. If a parent is not working, they could certainly volunteer at the school or somewhere else to build a resumé for the future.

I also realize we have been through six years of very tough economic times. To hear that 70 percent of district families qualify for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches really surprised me.

Many of those parents must also qualify for SNAP debit cards so they can purchase food to feed their families. I have firsthand knowledge of the “benefits” that a single mom with two children can receive. The $500 per month SNAP benefit definitely can cover the cost of providing a breakfast at home and a sack lunch if there is a will to do so.

I just hope that parents will take a look at themselves as role models for their children and realize that a whole lot of taxpayer money is funding those school meals. This federal bureaucracy, like so many others, spends most of our tax money on administration and regulation, with very little going to the actual cost of the meals being provided. I voted no on funding the federal program to make a point, not to prevent needy children from having a good breakfast and lunch.

Thanks for allowing me to share my point of view.

Shirley Dye, member, Payson School Board

Comments

Kathie Reidhead 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Well said, Shirley. Your view is "responsibility" and I support that! I like the idea of requiring a "hand up" to go along with the "hand out". Imagine all the good works that might be accomplished with that practice! The goal is to help people lift themselves up out of difficult circumstances and provide good lessons to their children at the same time, not rely on the government programs. Afterall, those programs may or may not be there in the future the way things are going. I can't think of anything truly more compassionate.

Persevere, Shirley.

0

Pat Randall 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hang in there Mrs. Dye. I would ask for financial statements and income tax returns on all the poverty stricken people that are getting the free meals for the kids. I know for a fact they try to sign up kids that don't need the free food.

0

Ronald Hamric 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Mrs. Dye,

There is evidence that some school districts in this country actually offer WalMart discount cards to parents who will simply sign the paper that says their kids qualify for these meals. That way the schools get tax payer money for each form signed whether or not the kids actually warrant such. Whenever there is "free" stuff, it seems that there is also a severe lack of monitoring and oversight that should be done to assure that the benefits are really getting to those that they were intended for. We hear constantly about the fraud and abuse of these programs that are truly needed for those IN NEED. Thank you shinning a light on the issue. It is sad that so many chose to use it for alterior motives and political positioning.

0

Pat Randall 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Mr. Paulk. What have you done to help the poverty stricken?

0

Ted Paulk 1 month, 1 week ago

Worked all my life, paid taxes and still donate what I am able to to the Payson Community kids. You can bet your fanny I haven't come out in favor of starving children!!!!

0

Ronald Hamric 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Pat,

Realize that Ted is a "mirror" of his own criticisms, and he is too shallow to even recognize it. It's time to totally discount everything he writes as he really makes no sense and brings nothing but his juvenile name calling to the discussions. He truly is a loser.......Big Time!

0

Ted Paulk 1 month, 1 week ago

Dang it Ronnie, you got me again...Calling me a name caller followed by calling me a loser...you are so smart....Teddy.

0

dropsofjupiterlol 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Please keep in mind that not every family that receives SNAP benefits gets $500...seniors on social security usually receive $13 per month. Alot of families that work full time and take care of their families still cannot afford to put food on the table and if they work full time they get less in the way of SNAP benefits...so its still a constant struggle. It would be nice if people could refrain from stereotyping. Not EVERYONE is HAPPY to need food stamps, they don't need a hand up because they are already productive members of society... They are just trying to do the best for their family.

1

Rex Hinshaw 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I thought we had to have our names attached to our comments. I have never heard of anyone named.....dropsofjupiterlol. But I'm old and behind the times =)

0

Ted Paulk 1 month, 1 week ago

"But I'm old and behind the times"...for once I agree with you Rex...keep soul searching...maybe you will find another fragment of truth about yourself:) Ted

0

Ted Paulk 1 month, 1 week ago

Stop childhood obesity...don't listen to the First Lady about eating properly...just stop programs that feed the poor...that includes children and old people...teabagger proverb number 83.

0

Robbin Flowers 1 month, 1 week ago

Excellent Shirley, A hand up! How? How are WE going to do this? We need a community plan and with the new board members and their experience the potential is amazing. Who should feed the children? We know why they should be fed I assume. The how is being administrated NOW by the current food system. THIS IS A PROBLEM! HOW do we fix it? That leaves the questions of What and Where? What is being fed to the children and HOW is the food being grown and processed? Where is the food being grown and by WHO? What methods of food production are being fed to OUR CHILDREN? Is there poison in the water or pesticides being used in MEXICO to grow food, and then heavily processed prior to getting to OUR CHILDREN? ONE DAY AT A TIME. This information needs to go into categories and treated just like a lesson plan for a student but on a community level. I KNOW THIS CAN BE DONE. Then this plan can be distributed. Love Crazy;-)

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.