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Howard did the right thing with free lunches

Maryland Hunger Solutions is thrilled about Howard schools’ new winter meals program (“Howard schools will offer free lunches during winter break,” Dec. 10). Superintendent Michael Martirano’s acknowledgement that “hunger doesn’t take a vacation” during the holidays rings true for too many Marylanders, even in wealthy jurisdictions like Howard County.

Even though Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the country, nearly 20 percent of households with children struggle with food insecurity. On an average day in Maryland, 288,000 students rely on free and reduced-price school meals. During school holidays, these students lose access to the meals they rely on to keep their bellies full and support their healthy growth. This winter meals program will make the holidays happier and healthier for many Howard County students.

Howard schools and their community partners — the Department of Community Resources, the Howard County Library System and the Community Action Council of Howard County — are leaders in reducing child hunger in Maryland, and we applaud their efforts. Moving forward, we hope other jurisdictions in Maryland will follow suit and offer holiday meals to students during the winter break.

Julia Gross, Baltimore

The writer is an anti-hunger program associate with Maryland Hunger Solutions.

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