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A Matter of Priority: No Child Should Go Hungry In America

The number of American children living in food-insecure households continues to grow at an alarming rate. This is a public health crisis of epic proportions. Proper nutrition is necessary not only for a healthy body but a healthy mind. Hungry kids are at an automatic disadvantage in the classroom because hunger impairs the ability to learn, which is why school lunches are so vital in the public school system.

Through no fault of their own.

It’s become disturbingly acceptable in this country to punish children for the perceived sins of their parents, from starving them, leaving them homeless, denying them healthcare, to ripping babies and kids from their parent’s arms at the southern border. While simultaneously using the struggles of the children to punish the parents. This practice of using children to intimidate or punish their parents is as old as time, but no modern, civilized society should even consider this barbaric tactic, never mind implement it

It doesn’t matter if you think that a child’s parents are lazy or “cheating the system.” Children are the innocent pawns of adult behavior and a corrupt, hyper-capitalist government. To deny a child the basic necessities of life because you feel the need to pass judgment on familial circumstances, often beyond their control, tells me a lot about you as a human being. And it ain’t pretty.

In other words, your unsolicited opinion of someone’s worthiness to receive assistance is completely irrelevant. You don’t take food from a child’s mouth because of an ingrained antipathy towards the poor. In the wealthiest nation on earth, it’s obscene and revolting that we have even one hungry child.

CNN reports that at least 40% of America’s school children received free lunch in 2017. With numbers that alarming — and growing — denying a child sustenance or handing them a brown bag with a PB&J because their account is in arrears is downright disgusting, and suggesting children perform menial labor tasks at school to “earn” their meal is nothing short of reprehensible.

We can do it, we just don’t want to do it.

Please, if you hold such judgmental views, don’t even try to justify the cruelty by claiming we don’t have the money to feed our children, that’s bullshit. Of course we do. We don’t lack the resources (see: defense budget and corporate tax breaks) this nation is just totally devoid of conscience and has monumentally screwed-up priorities.

Many children, too many children, who qualify for free lunch receive their only meal of the day while at school. Then there are the kids who go without because their family either doesn’t know about or is too proud to apply for the free or reduced lunch program. This is simply not acceptable. ALL school children, regardless of family income, should receive free school lunch to ensure every child in this obscenely rich country is getting at least one healthy meal a day.

Providing every child with lunch and breakfast removes the stigma from kids in the free lunch program.

No child should be mocked because of their family’s economic status or endure school officials haranguing them for money owed by their parents, or even more vomit-inducing, be refused lunch altogether. Click To Tweet The fact that some feel “lunch-shaming” poor, hungry kids is a totally justifiable act shows just how distant a memory American human decency really is.

We’ve all heard that old adage, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, in a nation that can afford trillions of dollars for a Space Force and consistently hands tax breaks to the elite class, we can, and should, permanently boot that cliché from the American vernacular.

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