The local suburban weekly newspaper featured the headline, “More Than 700,000 served.” The opening paragraph noted that the local school district’s food program “will take a break for a week or two next month after a busy spring and summer.” The accompanying photo caption began, “Cars line up at Northglenn High School July 17 to collect three days worth of meals,” and noted that the school district food service had been providing the meals to students and their families since schools in the area closed due to COVID-19. The photo showed three late-model SUV’s lined up as they approached the tent to receive the hand-out meals.
“We went from giving out cold sandwiches in March, blended in April and May with hot entrees served daily and now we’ve gone to frozen meals they can finish at home,” said an administrator. Later, the article noted that “Families line up drive-through style, picking up several meals per person–lunch for two days and breakfast on Mondays and Wednesdays. They pick up more meals on Fridays, enough to get each student through the weekend. They’ve even added a mobile option, with a bus leaving each high school headed to more remote areas.”
I was incensed.
A few months earlier, I had a similar reaction as local television featured similar stories, one showing busses heading out to hand out lunches, another a woman and her kids standing at the door of what appeared to be a comfortable home receiving meals. I might have a different reaction if this were merely for several weeks during the virus shutdown, but that is not the case. Months earlier, before the virus shutdown, the school district’s “mission creep” had included expansions of their feeding program. Full-day kindergarten had been mandated by the state and introduced at the beginning of the school year. Always more taxpayer-funded programs, always a bigger role for the government and the government schools.
The school district never seems to have enough funding, asking for more property taxes almost every election cycle. Understanding that much or most of the funding for the massive food giveaway is from taxes the Federal government has taken, not just taxes from local property owners, one still must ask why government handouts have to be the source of food for every lower- and middle-economic class family. When I was growing up, we were far from wealthy, but I took a sack lunch TO school every day. I ate breakfast and dinner at home, and during the summer there was no school food program. Dad, and later Dad and Mom went to work to provide for our needs. They taught my brother and I by example how to be responsible, how to provide for our own needs, how to work and save. Our children did not go to the government schools, but did not go hungry – my wife and I worked to provide for them.
Children resident in the United States should not go hungry. America is an exceptional nation, divinely blessed with a favorable climate, almost limitless natural resources, millions of square miles of arable land, and an economic system unequalled in history. We have the capability to produce far more food than we consume. But what kind of lesson is being taught to children when the government and school district become their source of every basic need? Why do productive people bother to work, send increasing amounts of their earnings to government, only to have government redistribute it to others purely at the whim of government? If one wants more, just riot and demand more; this has become the understood message that is increasingly accepted.
Wealth is productivity – productivity brings wealth. This is true of individuals, it is true of nations. People cannot look to government as their source of material goods; it will ultimately bring poverty, loss of freedom, and ruin. Individuals must use whatever opportunities and advantages that may be available to them and become productive. The American system offers tremendous opportunity. This concept has been lost; far too many with a sense of entitlement and aggrievement look to government to provide for their needs. No need for personal responsibility, no need for marriage and family, no need to work and save, just demand more from government; this has become widely accepted in society. That philosophy will bring ruin.
The Bible is filled with exhortations as to the responsibility to work, to be productive, to provide for one’s own needs and the needs of family. Compassionate giving, sharing with those in need – absolutely; that is the spirit of Christianity. But it is not at all compassionate to facilitate dependence on charity or on government. It is ruinous – to the individual, and to the nation.