Letter To The Editor: In Response To Comments


Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Oskaloosa News.

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to comments made by Oskaloosa School Board Member Lynette Stream in your article Summer Lunch Program Continues in the April 2, 2020 edition. I directed the Oskaloosa Summer Lunch Program from its first year – 2014 to 2016. The USDA implements the Summer Lunch program across the Nation. In the State of Iowa, many schools operate the Summer Lunch Program.

The Oskaloosa Summer Lunch Program not only meets the physical needs of feeding children, but it also meets the social-emotional needs of children and their families. Shaming individuals that participate in the lunch program is not appropriate. In the article, Mrs. Stream stated that the problem she had with “programs like these is if we’re providing sandwiches and so on and so forth, to me, it’s a parent problem, not a school problem. I don’t think we have a food shortage, we have a good parent shortage.” In reviewing her comments, I conclude that Mrs. Stream believes that good parents are only parents that are living at a certain economic level. Parents do not deserve to be publicly shamed by Mrs. Stream.

The beauty of the Oskaloosa Summer Lunch Program is that all children up to age 18 eat free. This means that children from all socio-economic backgrounds eat together, just like they do during the school year. The program is an opportunity for children to eat together with their friends throughout the summer and maintain contact with school personnel.

Mrs. Stream’s comments could prevent families from allowing their children to participate in the Oskaloosa Summer Lunch Program. Her comments in her role as a School Board Member are harmful. It is precisely comments like Mrs. Stream’s that prevent families from reaching out to get help when they need it. I expect more from an Oskaloosa School Board Member.

Martha A. Comfort

Posted by on Apr 6 2020. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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