Readers Write: (Feb. 12): School lunches, health insurance, meat production, CVS and cigarettes, nighttime visibility

  • Updated: February 11, 2014 - 5:31 PM

When we’re talking about kids going hungry, there should be no debate.

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SCHOOL LUNCHES

Kids denied, food dumped: Hello?

I was shocked by the Feb. 11 article “Students left hungry when they can’t pay,” and the real kicker was way at the end: “The state could expand the free lunch program to all students who now receive reduced-price lunch for an estimated $3.35 million.” Compare that with the millions we are paying for the new Vikings stadium and other discretionary projects.

Hey! We are talking about kids going hungry. This is not open for debate. Feed our students in Minnesota a healthy meal that they will look forward to. Provide nutritious meals that will teach students the value of eating healthfully. We spend millions of dollars on education every year, but if a child’s stomach is grumbling, how is she or he going to learn math? How are students going to learn the value of nutritious food if you give them a bread-and-butter sandwich? How are we going to teach them fairness and kindness if they are embarrassed and shamed while being turned away at the lunch line for failure to pay?

KATHY MURPHY, Woodland

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Looking for a great way to close the achievement gap? Humiliate and intimidate children in front of their peers! Even those who don’t have their lunches dumped will witness this and learn something. Very effective educational environment. That should get them all on the right track.

I expect that a better solution can be found that will help, not hurt, children.

JANET SNELL, Oakdale

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Poor or not, money or not, children are our collective responsibility. The movers and shakers in this country — the “job creators” — had better wake up to the fact that we are devolving into a Dickensian society of abject poverty alongside unlimited wealth. I agree with a recent letter writer in that part of the solution is to pay the working poor a living wage. Then these kids could afford their own lunches.

HARALD ERIKSEN, Brooklyn Park

 

HEALTH INSURANCE

Buy it? Go without? It’s no contest — buy it

While I appreciate the Star Tribune’s coverage of the changes in our health care system, I was frustrated by the Feb. 11 article “Price of coverage is still too high for some,” which extensively quoted a woman and her family who are struggling to afford health insurance.

I can understand that she is finding it difficult to find the money to pay for insurance, but she is quoted as having consulted a financial planner and having reached the conclusion that “if you do the math” you are better off without health insurance. No reasonable person could possibly reach that conclusion. A single trip to a hospital can easily cost many years’ worth of health insurance premiums, or even years of total income.

It was irresponsible to let her comments go uncontested, since many people may mistakenly think that she is right. She is clearly not right, and her mistake could be devastating financially for her and her family, as well as for the rest of us who are likely to be forced to pick up the tab when she ends up in an emergency room.

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