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Thanks for meals program

To the editor:

I’m not sure who came up with the meals program for Suffolk Public Schools, but it is really a beautiful thing. I wanted to write in hopes of thanking whomever helped to create, approve and orchestrate this program. Of all the programs offering assistance during the pandemic, this program is making the biggest difference in my life right now.

To make it an across-the-board program for all students takes the stigma out of having to ask for help, and for families who have suddenly taken huge income hits, that’s an amazing thing. The lines are long, and it indicates that the format of the program has been successful at removing any unnecessary shame families might have at accepting “free” food. And the food is impressively healthy, not junk. We know families who suffer financially tend to buy lower priced, less healthy food, but SPS is giving out healthy food choices that kids will happily eat — fresh produce, milk, whole grain snacks and breakfasts. That’s not cheap junk that I feel guilty feeding my kids, and I’m so impressed by this.

Moreover, I’ve spoken with a couple bus drivers, and they’ve told me they’re happy to be working as much as before, so they aren’t worried sick over where their next paycheck is coming from. I don’t know if that holds true for all drivers, but to have an option to give work to as many as possible while serving your communities in such a vital way is a smart move.

I’m sure there were lots of ways SPS could have used these funds, but the division elected to use them this way instead, and that should be applauded. I see other cities on the news with kids going hungry, and I realize that no matter what may happen with this pandemic, our SPS kids will not be among those that have no meals. Kudos to SPS for their meals program.

Kathryn Callahan

Suffolk