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Letter: Schools are right in giving free breakfasts to children

       I must respond to the Editor's Desk column about the new breakfast program in District 11 (“Thank you for breakfast, Mommy… I mean teacher,” by Westside Pioneer Editor Kenyon Jordan, posted April 4, 2014). The anger of the author about this way of feeding students was palpable. I do understand your concern about raising taxes, responsibility of the parents, cutting back on expenses to feed one's children, etc. I am fortunate to be employed as an educator with 40 years of experience. I was a single parent from the time my son was seven years old. Like you and your wife, I made breakfast a time to enjoy together, prepared wholesome meals, made sure my son was taken care of before me, and took responsibility for his needs. I also was fortunate to have parents who made sure my sister and I were brought up with those values even though we started life in a city project in New York City.
       I have spent the majority of my career working in Title I schools where not everyone has been given the opportunities I have, where economic challenges face our working class of people who are trying to make due with a wage that isn't sustainable at times. People have lost jobs, the increased cost of living hasn't kept up with wages, and everyday expenses keep increasing. None of this influences my support of the breakfast program. What does influence me are the needs of the children. Whatever a parent's reason for not feeding their children, whether we deem it to be laziness, not taking responsibility, etc. doesn't make it OK for the children. They are the ones who suffer and for that reason alone, doing my part to take care of them is something I welcome because they should not be the victims of this political agenda.

       Jeanne Williams

(Posted 6/15/14; Opinion: Letters)

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