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Letter: No such thing as a ‘free’ meal

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

In reading your Thursday, July 21 edition, I was intrigued by the lead-in “All but three Gloucester schools qualify for free meals.” I was reminded of discussions I had with my teen niece about the meaning of the word “free.”

I dared her to give me an example of what is “free.” She told me air. I reminded her our tax dollars are used to monitor samples of air and companies are required by law to clean remittances entering our air.

“Water.” No, taxpayer-funded EPA monitors its quality and fines those who damage our environment. Frustrated, she escaped to her room.

Free could mean without charge or even complimentary. But, free meals? Someone once said there are no free lunches. My father told me money does not grow on trees. I’ve noticed of late that the overused and overrated word “free” has grown a perverted life of its own … seemingly carrying with it a sense of floating along a current of mythology and fantasy where if a person does not pay for ...

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