YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

Minimum wage increase would bolster middle class

To the editor:

What has happened to America’s middle class and working families? America came out of the Great Depression and built the greatest middle class the world has known. Using our own hard work and government to open up opportunity for millions of people. Ninety percent of America got most of the gains.

Today the great middle class is on the ropes. People are angry because they work hard and their income barely moves. Jobs are going overseas and young people are being destroyed by student loans. Seniors can’t make Social Security checks cover basic expenses.

Today this country works great for those at the top. Corporations and billionaires who pay lower taxes than the hired help. This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class and tearing down democracy. Democracy has to have a thriving middle class to survive

One course of action would be to raise the $7.25 an hour minimum wage. Production is up, profits are up, executives have gotten raises. What about the people who did the hard dirty work getting a chance to build a little security?

No, the Republicans are locked in to block any efforts to increase the minimum wage. Study after study shows no large adverse affects on jobs when the minimum wage goes up. A Republican-led Congress just doesn’t care.

We once ran this country to benefit hardworking people and to create opportunities for kids. That poor kids would get the same chance as everyone else, to grow the middle class. This fight is our fight.

Bob Shilling,

Salem

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Help feed students unable to pay for lunches

To the editor:

Several months ago, an article in the newspaper talked about school lunches for the underprivileged and poor.

A computer program would alert the cashier that the student’s lunch account was unpaid. Some schools would literally remove the child’s hot meal tray from them, dump it in the trash (now what a waste that was!) and replace it with two pieces of white bread with a cold slice of cheese.

This was done publicly, causing embarrassment to the child. This is called “lunch shaming” (this cold sandwich meets federal nutritional standards).

The Department of Agriculture reports that nearly half of school districts use some form of shaming and stigmatizing, embarrassing children to tears.

The Bunker Hill United Methodist Church has taken on, as a mission project, to help some of these children get hot lunches. We would like to challenge other churches, groups, organizations and individuals to commit to this once-a-year offering of money ($2 to $300) to help feed a hot meal to a student.

If this sum is too large for you, go together with others and sponsor a child or just donate money to the school of your choice.

The school would have discretion on what child would get help with their lunch. This can be a tax deduction.

Being poor means you lack money. Being mean to the poor means you lack a soul. On behalf of children who will benefit from your generosity, we thank you.

PAT COY,

Missions chairwoman,

Bunker Hill United Methodist Church,

Beloit

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