Parents responsible for children's well being

Posted: Friday, February 05, 2010

Parents, feed your children.

As a parent, my primary responsibility is to ensure the health and well-being of my children. Providing them with adequate food is essential. Given this, I was disappointed to read in a recent Clarion article that Alaska lawmakers are considering a bill that would help fund the free and reduced price school meal programs.

I understand the benefits of healthy nutrition. Basic survival aside, a healthy breakfast and lunch help children grow and develop, and greatly increases their alertness and cognitive abilities. No child should go without food, however it is not the state's responsibility to feed our children. Nor is it the state or federal government's right to use my tax money to feed other people's children. It is, however, the state and federal government's responsibility to ensure that children are not being abused or mistreated. This is why I support Child Protective Services, and believe that if a child is not being provided proper nutrition, it is well within their purview to take action.

While I realize that people fall on hard times, there are already many social programs in place to ensure that the poor don't starve. If in spite of these programs parents are still not feeding their children, perhaps the children should be provided different parents. How many parents of children enrolled in free or reduced price breakfast or lunch programs already take advantage of WIC, Food Stamps, and Denali Kid Care? How many more refused to eliminate non-vital expenses like cable, Internet, cell phone service, tobacco, etc. before accepting these services?

An Alaska School Nutrition official stated that 29 states already assist with the USDA school lunch program, implying that we should follow suit. No thanks. How many of those states are in better financial shape than ours? He also said that 2 in 5 children in Alaska qualify for these meal programs. I don't believe that 40 percent of Alaskan parents can't feed their kids. Our federal tax dollars are already helping to feed almost half of our kids 2 meals a day, and some state representatives want us to follow suit. What's next, dinner and a warm bed?

Todd Smith

Kenai



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