Letter to the editor: Funding for milk is about children in N.D.Children and families in our state are struggling. There is a need for assistance for our kids whether that is a backpack program that feeds them over the weekend, or ensuring all students in kindergarten through third grade can have milk or juice during their snack break with their friends.
By: By Ashley Roeske, Jamestown, The Jamestown Sun
Children and families in our state are struggling. There is a need for assistance for our kids whether that is a backpack program that feeds them over the weekend, or ensuring all students in kindergarten through third grade can have milk or juice during their snack break with their friends.
In the Jamestown Public School District, the number of students who would go without milk at break would be between 40 and 50. The problem proved to be quite an obstacle at snack break; for that reason a private person donated funds at Christmas to provide all children with milk. HB 1421 would have provided for low-income students K-third grade, about 6,000 students across North Dakota, to have access to milk or juice during their midday break. That’s it, plain and simple — $550,000 to help children, ages 5-9, to have a milk or juice at snack break if they want one, just like the rest of their peers. Can you imagine being 6 years old and having to sit and watch your classmates drink milk and all you are allowed is water?
This should be about children. In Jamestown, Community Action runs a backpack program that sends chronically hungry kids a bag of food home with them on Friday. The program sends home 63 bags to students each week. Obviously, there is a great deal of need in Jamestown.
Children are the future of North Dakota. Their experiences in school when they are young are critical to the continued prosperity of this state. Many of these children are not at the same nutritional level as their peers; we know this directly affects their learning capacity. So while North Dakota has this surplus, it shouldn’t be too much to ask that we put an effort into these children’s learning abilities and futures. Children’s nutrition is vital to their physical, mental and emotional growth, and a carton of milk or cup of juice will give them the focus to properly learn. Lastly, I would like to emphasize that the cost of this bill is minimal compared to the investment it will be to the future of North Dakota.