News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 18, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Oct. 18, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Free-lunch letter rude, judgmental

In regards to the letter from James Kmetz titled “Parents should just feed the kids,” I was outraged to read all of the mean, rude and judgmental things that were said in the letter.

Mr. Kmetz, first off, you do not know firsthand how the parents of the children on free and reduced lunches spend their money. You clearly do not pay attention to what is going on in your community. Jobs are scarce and pay is low. Who are you to decide how these parents should spend their tax refunds? If this is the only way they have to take their family on vacation, or buy a vehicle (which is very much a needed item), or if they even just go on a shopping spree, it’s their money that they worked for and paid taxes on.

I also would like to add that I am a parent of not one, but three children who receive free lunches. I also must add that I am a single parent, I work and do not draw welfare as you assume, and I also attend school at ISU to ensure that one day they will not have to receive free lunch. They do also eat plenty at home, but have you lately tried to shop for groceries and seen how much food cost?

Money only stretches so far. And yes, I am one of those people who anxiously wait for my tax refund, not to take a vacation, but to buy things my children need that they may have done without all year.

And lastly, let me say that you should never underestimate a family’s circumstances. And to say that instead of issuing free lunches we should educate our children to ensure that they enter careers to avoid their children receiving free lunches, then you should know that children do better in school when they have eaten.

I’m a child of free lunches and I am still pursuing a career. Your letter was very nasty and I think you owe 50 percent or more of Terre Haute an apology.

— Tina Elder

Terre Haute