I’m writing in praise of Luisa S. Deprez and Ryan LaRochelle for their Aug. 30 Maine Voices column, “Washington shouldn’t leave needy, hungry students behind,” a subject that disturbs me to the core.

Why are needy children ignored living in the richest nation in the world? We in Maine seem to have time to address every single special interest situation or group, but we do not have enough time or means to address this more important issue. Children should not have to go hungry, especially in school, under the protection of that school’s administration.

Healthy and adequate school meals should be issued to each and every child in every school and on any given day, regardless of their family’s income.

No child should be subjected to hunger or embarrassment by seeing their peers being fed while they stand by, returning to class on an empty stomach. How are they to learn or concentrate when they’re running on empty?

Would it be naive to think that Education Commissioner Pender Makin could corral the superintendents of schools to set up a fail-safe program that protects children from ever being denied a meal, even if it meant digging into their own pockets for payment and then sending it to Augusta for reimbursement?

Why can’t Maine set up a prototype plan titled “No Child Goes Hungry in Our State” and then send it to Washington for national implementation?

There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for this condition to persist!

Frank E. Reilly


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