The O-Fallon lawmaker is now out with a statement that both clarifies and defends her remarks.
Last week an editorial that misrepresented my views and the true issues surrounding the summer feeding program was published in a local Missouri newspaper and has since been discussed out of context in several other media outlets. We all agree on the importance of feeding children, but we differ on who should do this. I believe this duty belongs to the parents. Instead of respecting this time honored jurisdiction of the family, the summer feeding program treats families like they do not exist.
When government takes over a family function, like feeding children on a daily basis, we take a group of people who are capable and treat them like they are incapacitated. Some have a low view of parents, presuming most of them are inept and proposing governmental intervention as the only solution.
I believe most parents are good and want the blessing and privilege of feeding their children. When families are sharing a meal around the kitchen table, much more is happening. Mealtime is the primary time for shaping values and strengthening bonds. All of this is missing or diluted when it happens outside the family. Look into your own heart and ask, "What made a difference in my life as a child?" Was it standing in a line for a cafeteria style meal at school or was it sitting around the kitchen table with others in your family?
All the children being fed in this program have parents or guardians who are already functioning in a nurturing roll. They have not been judged to be neglectful or abusive in any way. Government should not take the care of their children from them. The right way to help is to treat the root cause, not the symptom. We must support the parents in providing for their children, not circumvent them.