Our opinion: A child hunger problem

According to the evidence exhibited by the number of children in Warren County who qualify for reduced-price or free lunches, there is the potential for those children to go hungry when the school district isn’t feeding them.

In itself that’s a sad commentary, and one that begs many questions that go to the heart of not just poverty, but parenting, fractured family units, and perhaps a dozen other subjects for which the answers are difficult if not impossible to nail down.

Those are issues that could provide a dozen or more editorials.

This one is about something positive being offered to ameliorate the basic problem: hungry children.

The Warren County School Board this week gave unanimous approval to a program that aims at feeding hungry children, keying on the knowledge that a hungry child has a more difficult time grasping lessons and achieving academically.

The Backpack Program will send those children home on Friday afternoons with a sack of food appropriate to provide them with three meals on Saturday and Sunday.

This isn’t just a tool to help underpriviledged children do better academically; this is a humanitarian effort aimed at perhaps the most vulnerable members of our society: hungry children. Until the problem hits you in the face, one might rationalize that it is virtually impossible for a child to go hungry in one of the world’s richest nations, with a government replete with social safety nets, that any child could go to bed hungry at night.

Here’s the kicker: This isn’t costing taxpayers a dime.

By working with local food banks and other philanthropic groups and individuals, the district will be feeding children, improving educational opportunities and filling a community need without the use of tax revenue.

The bottom line is that no child in America, no child in Warren County, should go hungry. While our society figures out the underpinnings of the child hunger problem, we can at least do something to alleviate the symptoms.

We have been critical of some decisions of this school board in the past.

Not this time.