Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
The topic of “lunch shaming” has gathered lots of interest on social media. I’m particularly interested since I sit on my local school board. A quick recap: the feds fund lunches for families who qualify (just over half of our families with a total student population of just over 1,300 kids, K-12). The rest of the parents can send a lunch or put money into an account with the cafeteria service. An important thing to note is that kids in the lunch line can’t tell if someone else is getting a free meal or not.
Some other factors: if the free meal population reaches a high enough threshold, the school can provide all meals for free at federal expense. During the summer, the feds fund free meals for entire families. This is a program of which I suspect most people are completely unaware.
The recent issue is with kids not on the free lunch program whose parents let the money in their account run out. Schools typically will have a one- or two-day grace period and then will provide some sort of simpler meal, like a sandwich and an apple. No kids goes under. This practice has become known as “lunch shaming,” and makes lots of people very upset. A recent development has been people going to the cafeteria provider and paying off delinquent accounts. Now that seems like a very nice thing to do but how does the parent learn anything from it? Or, ultimately, the kids?
Anyway, I find the whole thing very strange. A parent can’t get their crap together enough to make sure their kid has a decent lunch, and the publicly funded school system becomes a villain. People’s opinions seem to me to be completely emotional on this. What are your thoughts?Published in