Summer lunch program can’t be right direction

Fairmont Elementary School is offering a free lunch to anyone under the age of 18 this summer, through Aug. 1. This has been triggered by the high number of local students who qualify for free and reduced lunch pricing. Fairmont Area Schools will be compensated for the costs of the meals by the federal government.

While this program may be a benevolent attempt to make sure youths are getting the nutrition they need, it also surely raises some questions.

First and foremost:?Why all kids? If the object is to help those in need, then help those in need. Otherwise, aren’t parents responsible for feeding their children? Shouldn’t they be?

Secondly, is this a good direction for our nation? Are more and more social services to be piled atop each other forever? Doesn’t that create dependence on these services? Shouldn’t independence be encouraged?

Third:?If this is a nationwide effort, won’t all of this spending just help balloon the national debt? Should a bankrupt nation keep spending money, no matter what? Wouldn’t it be better to encourage state, local and private efforts to help those in need?

Fourth: We don’t begrudge those who decide to utilize this program, as long as they actually need it. Nor do we blame Fairmont Area Schools for implementing a federal requirement. We do wonder how the school is going to know how many kids will show up each day. If it’s difficult to know, won’t food be wasted?

We believe the federal government needs to rethink its reach and role in the lives of Americans. This summer food service program is a perfect example of the kind of thing the feds should not be doing.