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Sen. Steve Drazkowski has "yet to meet a person in Minnesota who is hungry" ("It's the law: Free school meals for all," March 18). I wonder, has Drazkowski ever taken the time to drive the streets of our cities, where nearly each corner hosts a person not only in need of food but housing? Does he know that over 8% of constituents under 18 in his home county suffer from poverty and food insecurity? Food insecurity, especially in children, is not conducive to a great education. Yes, Drazkowski, hunger may be relative, but your eating a cereal bar and being hungry an hour later is vastly different from a child coming home having not eaten all day and then only eating the heel of a loaf of bread with cinnamon and butter. Hundreds if not thousands of people in Drazkowski's district used WIC assistance last year, and over 435,000 people in the state of Minnesota utilized SNAP benefits each month last year. These comments Drazkowski has made prove how out of touch our politicians can be on a local or national level.

Before each law passes, each representative should spend time meeting the people their legislation will affect. Maybe actually meeting the needy and those of us who care for them will change the way they think and speak on the Senate floor. I am grateful for a Senate that has overridden callous politicians like Drazkowski, but it is time for us as a people to hold our politicians accountable for more than just their vote.

Melina Birchem, St. Paul


When Drazkowski was speaking on the Senate floor to say he hadn't met any hungry Minnesotans, he probably didn't realize the irony of his statement. He could have met dozens of people living in poverty — even homeless — by walking just a few blocks away from where he stood in the Capitol.

Roslyn Hjermstad, Cannon Falls


Yes to state tax dollars providing breakfast and lunch for all schoolchildren. However, I don't think serving pepperoni pizza and turkey salami sandwiches as a lunch during the celebration is a good sign. Hopefully there will be a more nutritious, locally grown, plant-based element to the new mandate. Think fruits for breakfast (smoothies), veggies, hummus, nuts, peanut butter — so many options without processed foods.

Linda D. Spanier, Sartell, Minn.


Free school breakfast and lunches is commendable state policy for the thousands of Minnesota schools and students, but will there be a corresponding zero-waste initiative to dispose the tons of plastic and organics that will follow?

One can assume that only a small fraction of the schools will have commercial kitchens where individual food packaging isn't required, but the majority will require transport from decentralized preparation facilities to lower-population communities where recycling and organics processing don't currently exist.

I'd like to suggest that before a school can participate with free lunches, each entity be required to develop their plan of how it becomes a zero-waste campus.

Jeffrey Grosscup, Minneapolis


We live in the land of plenty, and I agree no child should go hungry. According to the advocacy group Hunger Solutions, 1 in 6 (about 16 per 100) Minnesota students experience food insecurity, and a quarter of those (4 out of 100) currently are not covered by existing programs. The Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz determined we need to spend $200 million to feed every child when it sounds to me we need to allot about $10 million to identify and feed the hungry kids currently not covered under existing programs (and continue the existing programs). Somewhere between Drazkowski's "yet to met a person in Minnesota who is hungry" and universal free lunch lies some common sense.

Robert Schnetzler, Champlin


Here's an idea: You do it

Farmers always enjoy when city people tell them what to do with their land (Readers Write, March 16). You can get in on the fun, too, and save millions of dollars in new transmission lines needed to move power from faraway turbines and solar panels. Put them in the cities where the power is used. You can tear out cement, use your green spaces for more important things, improve the soil, sequester carbon and grow food, too. Plus, you will make money doing it.

Darcy Kroells, Green Isle, Minn.

The writer is a farmer.


Proceed calmly toward justice

I've been curious about the wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and pearl-clutching regarding the potential indictment of a certain person who is a private citizen. It appears his followers are extremely upset because he is a former president ("Trump predicts his own arrest," March 19).

If there has been a crime committed, and there is credible evidence of that crime, then an indictment by a prosecutor is surely required. If the rule of law is to be applied, and if no one is above the law, then what does it matter what position a person who commits a crime may have held? Again, on Jan. 20, 2021, the former president became a private citizen, and remains so to this day.

If those cases currently being investigated (the hush money issue, the classified documents issue and the election tampering issue) produce the evidence that a crime was definitely committed, then the self-acclaimed party of law and order should welcome the idea that the perpetrators will be held accountable and prosecuted.

Rest assured, if the party identities involved here were switched (from an "R" to a "D"), the outcry for justice would be at a crescendo.

Ron Bender, Richfield


After Donald Trump called for people to "protest, protest, protest" against the possibility of an indictment being handed down in New York, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the possible indictment "an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance" against Trump.

McCarthy also said he would direct relevant GOP-led House committees "to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions."

For those old enough to remember ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, it may be tragically amusing to picture the McCarthy sitting on Trump's lap, spouting Trump's words as Charlie McCarthy did on Bergen's lap.

This would be humorous if the reality wasn't so dangerous to the rule of law, a cornerstone of democracy. Top Republicans like McCarthy, traditionally pro-law enforcement, are saying that laws don't apply to some people, especially Trump!

Jay Jaffee, Minneapolis


Addiction, not pot, is the real scourge

Truly a sad and terrible story in "A promising life derailed by cannabis" (editorial, March 16).

I fail to understand, however, how the Star Tribune Editorial Board can point solely to marijuana as the source of the problem and not addiction when someone dies from an overdose.

There are no guarantees, but the focus should lie with the disease of addiction. Getting people into treatment is the only solution that can help. Singling out any one drug is shallow, especially because of the help and relief cannabis has given to so many.

It's treatment of addiction and not prohibition that would have saved this girl.

Rick Sandretto, Plymouth