News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 31, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Oct. 31, 2013


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Rational answer to free-lunch gripe

Kudos to letter writer Tina Elder for her intelligent and rational response (“Free-lunch letter rude, judgmental”) to James Kmetz (“Parents should just feed the kids”). As a single mother raising three children while working and going to school, she knows far more about today’s economy than those who surf the net looking to validate their conservative ideology.

In case Mr. Kmetz hasn’t noticed, the price of groceries has increased significantly in the past two years. Where the price might be the same, the amount of food in the package has decreased. That former pound of bacon is now 12 ounces. On any given day gasoline fluctuates from $3.30 to $3.89. And then there are the utility bills. Not an easy task keeping up with those three big-ticket items with limited resources. Dare we look at the other expenses single mothers like Ms. Elder or even a married couple with children and one hourly-wage income have to contend with?

I am astounded at the number of people in Vigo County who have “knowledge” of the food and non-food items purchased by individuals using “food stamps.” I guess I’m too busy stretching my own dollars and cents to monitor the purchases of my fellow shoppers.

Ms. Elder, I wish you and your children the very best. I pray you all get the education you need to make a better life. I hope those who are currently monitoring the supermarket check-out stations will leave the store and go volunteer somewhere in our community — try Catholic Charities, The Lighthouse Mission, The Salvation Army, 14th & Chestnut. Let us each be a help not a hindrance to our neighbors.

— Linda Sturtevant

West Terre Haute