Every Illinois student should receive free school meals

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As the executive director of the first statewide anti-hunger organization of Illinois, founded in 1988, I wish to celebrate the recently passed legislation in California and Maine that will provide all children with meals. free schools beyond the pandemic. These states have decided to provide healthy school meals to all students as part of the school day, regardless of household income. It’s time for Illinois to follow in their footsteps.

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Hunger advocates across the country are applauding these efforts as research shows school meals help alleviate food insecurity and poverty while improving long-term educational, behavioral and overall health outcomes for the most vulnerable children. of our country.

Illinois is an incredibly diverse state, and we know our immigrant communities and communities of color are experiencing more food insecurity, driven by COVID-19 and long-standing structural racism. Providing school meals for all students is essential for racial equity and justice. This would ensure that Black, Indigenous and Latino students receive the nutrition they need to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Healthy school meals for all students and free would be a game-changer. It would support families, schools and neighborhoods by ensuring that all students are not hungry and are ready to learn.

California and Maine show us that this is a viable political solution and a good investment for the future. We need to call on our leaders in Congress to be at the forefront of making healthy school meals for all a nationwide reality.

Diane Doherty, Executive Director, Illinois Hunger Coalition

The policy of ward superintendents

The Sun-Times editorial on ward superintendents argues that these jobs are inherently political advisers to aldermen, and therefore should be exempt from Shakman.

I can buy this, but then why the hell are they employees of Streets and San? They should be paid by the aldermen they advise.

Steve Bohan, Bourbonnais

Targeting illegal gun sales is not enough

“Chicago police have uploaded illegal guns,” Frank Main of the Sun-Times recently reported. Why? To end the gun violence that again this year has prompted at least one Chicago-based politician to urge “Call the National Guard,” which appears to be an annual call from some public officials or leaders in Chicago.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group in the firearms industry, legal firearms sales in Illinois for 2021 are estimated at 191,000 firearms, of which 40,000 are sold alone. in April of this year.

Chicago police seized 9,800 firearms last year, compared to an annual average of 7,000 firearms.

Clearly, stopping the violence by targeting illegal arms sales is like following the M&M for nuts. Many illegal guns will be found and some illegal gun sales will be identified, but this number is eclipsed by the number of people with guns in hand and a desire or reason to shoot.

Finally, we will no longer have the “stop violence” stones to return but the drug prohibition stone. We are almost there.

James E. Gierach, Palos Park

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