Letters to the Editor

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STRIKE: Hungry students? TNT claim ridiculous

Letter by D. Joy Noss, Puyallup on Sep. 22, 2011 at 11:34 am with 3 Comments »
September 22, 2011 12:37 pm

Throughout the recent Tacoma teachers strike, we read continuously that the ongoing school closure was cutting off students from receiving school breakfasts and lunches, leaving them hungry.

I acknowledge that the strike has caused great inconvenience for affected families and that various organizations stepped up to feed and care for kids. But to say that parents would not be able to feed their children is ridiculous. A breakfast of cereal and milk or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and fruit for lunch is not expensive, and most people would agree.

I was disappointed in The News Tribune for using an emotional tactic to elicit response. The real shame, however, is that no parent wrote in to refute the hunger argument or, even worse, that they believe the government is better equipped to feed their children than they are.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. i might suppose that if you apply for and receive free or reduced lunches; you might also qualify for food stamps.
    chances are that in this specific instance, attracting quality teachers to the classrooms with the new contract (do we not need high quality teachers? how do we then attract them to this profession?), may be of greater benefit to the children than the detriment of school days that may be made up for.

  2. Noss? Puyallup right? Have YOU BEEN in any of the schools at lunch time or volunteered in a Tacoma School? Sure you are in cushy Puyallup- compared to Tacoma. I volunteer at my kids’ schools regularly and YES there are high numbers of kids and families that depend upon these meals at school. You also ought to see the shape of these kids’ shoes- and many don’t have coats for the upcoming winter. You want reality? Come to our town and be productive instead of useless.

  3. spungamy says:

    It seems clear from this letter that the person writing doesn’t have any experience in this area. No experience with making decisions such as whether to keep a roof over your children’s heads or put food on the table, with scrimping and saving so that hopefully they can have pens and paper at the beginning of the school year. No experience making it to the end of the month hoping you won’t have an entire week with no food before the next money comes in and you can scrape something together to go to the store (deciding how much you can afford to spend on gas to get you there). No working with the backpack program that sends children home from school over the weekends so they won’t starve until coming back to school. No talking with people who rejoice eagerly at an extra $3 received because, “This will buy another carton of milk!” Milk and cereal are expensive, bread can be expensive too, fresh fruit almost always.

    Furthermore, keep in mind that for those families who didn’t have someplace to send their children and weren’t planning to have to pay for it, this would be a huge budget drain. Most of the places that were charging (Boys & Girls Clubs, the Y, etc) seemed to be charging $35/day. That works out to $280/child for an 8 day strike. For a family living on the edge, $280/child is huge sum; imagine having 2 children ($560) or even 3 ($840). Some people had others to help out with babysitting, but not everyone. Would you rather they leave a kindergarten student at home alone so they can make sure they have the money for that cereal? Until you’ve lived on the edge, or worked with those who do, don’t dismiss the words of others. Perhaps the reason that parents weren’t writing in to refute “the hunger argument” is that they know the TNT is right.

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