LETTER: Knowing what it is like to struggle

Mar. 06, 2014 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Who knew [peanut butter and jelly] was not just for lunch anymore?

Mr. [Kirk] Smith, here is a lesson for you. People were aghast and in such a “tizzy,” as you like to put it, at your lack of knowledge about people in poverty. People in poverty cannot afford a PB&J. They don’t have bread in the house, if they have a place to stay. Sometimes the only food these students get is at school. Are you such a hater ... that you begrudge a student in Lee County a meal? Taxpayer or not, this is an issue of ignorance on your part.

Before you open your mouth and stick your PB&J in it again, please come work in a school cafeteria. They have to adhere to stringent federal and state guidelines. Every morsel that is not eaten has to be accounted for. Our system may not be perfect, but it is better than what you offered. We fed the masses. I would be impressed to see you feed 800 students a day! Maybe you need to be reminded of the foundation this country was built on: “Give me your tired, your poor, ... the homeless.”

My disdain lies with your lack of compassion for your fellow man. I am a native of Lee County and a product of Lee County Schools. When I was at Greenwood in the 1970s, my family qualified for free lunch. My father was a 100 percent disabled Word War II veteran. And even with my master’s degree in education, I have had to take charity from churches to feed my children because being an educator does not pay the bills. For most people in Lee County, progressive, Democrat, Republican or non-affiliated, we know what it is like to struggle, even to put PB&J on the table. Shame on you!

Laurie McCauley