Free lunch for poor students hard to swallow
We all know New Jersey is a very expensive place to live. Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck just treading water to keep up with high costs, high property taxes, etc. That's why when we hear the legislature is pushing for already reduced price lunches in our public schools to become free lunches we have a visceral hell no reaction.
But when you read Jen Ursillo's article on the proposal it gets harder to reject. The idea comes from Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Sen. Teresa Ruiz. The federal government reimburses the lunch program but because they do so at a consistent rate across the country the formula does not take into account the higher costs here in Jersey. Coughlin and Ruiz say the state should spend $4.5 million to close that gap and make lunches for poor students totally free.
It's pointed out for many students the school lunch is the only reliable meal five days out of seven, meaning many are from families struggling to the point they don't always have money for dinner or sometimes have to skip breakfast. Jen's story cites the figure of 280,000 New Jersey children who face 'food insecurity' each day; not knowing if they will or won't have enough to eat.
That's heartbreaking. And I know we can't solve all the world's problems. But when we are spending millions a year on financial aid for illegals for college and for free legal help for illegals fighting deportation, I think we're missing the mark. Close those irrationally progressive programs and let's put the money to helping our citizens first.
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