Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Cafe The Cafe

Should poor kids have to work for their meals at school?

Posted by on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM
  • 181 Replies

Lawmaker Wants Poor Kids to Sweep Floors for Their School Lunch

by Jeanne Sager

school lunchAaaaaaand the prize for Grinchiest Grinch from Grinchville goes to .... a Senate hopeful from Georgia who has announced that he thinks life is just too easy for the poor kids of America. But don't worry! Congressman Jack Kingston has a plan to rectify that! He thinks kids who come from families with incomes so low that the qualify for free lunch should start working for their PB&J!

Yes, indeedy, there's a lawmaker (Republican, natch) suggesting putting school children to work to "earn" their free lunch. Specifically, he thinks the kids should sweep the floor of the cafeteria to earn their eats. Something tells me Joseph Stalin would have loved to meet this guy and shake his hand.

It's more than a little ironic that the Congressman made this suggestion before the holidays -- just as hundreds of thousands of kids on the free lunch plan face lengthy winter breaks. Do you know what happens to kids who get free lunch at school when there is no school? Many of them simply go hungry. Sixty-two percent of teachers say they see kids who come in to school hungry because there was not enough to eat at home.

So this Congressman is suggesting putting kids to work ... for food that makes all the difference in their life? This he begrudges small children?

According to the statistics, 47.5 percent of kids in America qualify for free or reduced lunch. There are more than 19 million kids who get to eat something at school for free or at a lower cost thanks to the USDA program. 

I'm a mother and a taxpayer both, and I pack my daugther's lunch daily with foods that I pay for, and I say thank goodness someone is feeding these children. In fact, I'll gladly pay more in my taxes if it means that a hungry child has something in his stomach when he goes to math class.

In fact, I'd much rather he be in math class learning something than back in the cafeteria working off his chicken noodle soup. The classroom is where he belongs -- learning, just like his peers. The fact that his parents are in a lower income bracket isn't his fault, and it shouldn't hold him behind in school.

Because that is exactly what happens to kids who are hungry. Even if they weren't missing class time to do chores -- because when, exactly does this Congressman think kids are going to be able to swing a mop around? -- a kid who doesn't get to eat lunch every day is also going to have a hard time concentrating in school. Don't you struggle when your stomach is growling? The same goes for hungry kids.

If you think long and hard about it, hunger makes kids fall behind in school, which makes it harder for them to get into college, which makes it harder for them to get good jobs, which makes it more likely they will turn to the government for assistance at some point.

And isn't government assistance what this Congressman is so concerned about in the first place?

Maybe instead of trying to take things from kids, he should be thinking about giving kids more ... because the better start they get in life, they better they will be able to make that life once they're adults.

How do you feel about the free and reduced lunch program? Should kids have to work for their meals at school?

by on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM
6 moms liked this
No, but adults should have to volunteer 30+ hours for food stamps and any welfare. Bet many would get off it then.
Lilfootmommy
by on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM
No, its not their fault the parents dont make enough. Maybe have the parents volunteer for it
mom4awesomekids
by Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:18 AM
No
nurse1997
by Silver Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:50 AM
2 moms liked this

No this is crazy !

Elyce225
by Ruby Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Not the kids but the parents should have to volunteer.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
nichole_erin
by on Dec. 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM
9 moms liked this
The children of rich people didn't do anything to earn their food, their parents just give it to them. Poor kids shouldn't have to work for it just because their parents didn't.
1091Universal
by on Dec. 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM
4 moms liked this

Hi Everyone:

I think the objective here is SCHOOL.

I think of this as ridiculous and somewhat Racist.  Rich or Poor, kids are sent to school to learn, not be driven into slavery.   This is an insult and the people suggesting this should go back to school, themselves, to capture some morales. 

In my opinion, we should do a test-run with this idea, starting with the kids of this/these morons.

GertieK
by Silver Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM
1 mom liked this

Not the kids, but it is time that some kind of way to earn what you are given is put in place - and it is the parents who are being given when their kids are fed.  I agree that if PA required some form of equal exchange of energy - people would be running from it in droves.  Yes, kids should have food to eat - but at some point we need to find a way to make sure the food is going to the kids that need it.  We have created a culture of entitlement, and should be teaching kids that the food doesn't just magically appear - that someone paid for it somewhere along the line.  I think that there would be pride in knowing that as a parent I contributed toward feeding my child, and from the child's prospective - that my parent(s) were the ones helping provide for me.  Work ethics these days are almost nonexistent, and this is what kids are seeing and being taught.  We should take pride in finding ways to help people get up out of their poverty, rather than making it comfortable for them to stay.  The best result would be for free lunches to not be necessary anymore.

GertieK
by Silver Member on Dec. 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh, there you go, toss out that tired, worn out, wrinkled racist card.  Did anyone mention race?  Teaching kids that in the real world, earning your way is preferrable, honorable, and makes you feel better about your self.  The parents need to be part of providing the food for THEIR kids.  It has absolutely nothing to do with race - but with work ethics and the understanding that NOTHING IN THE WORLD IS FREE - SOMEONE PAID FOR IT AT SOME POINT.

Quoting 1091Universal:

Hi Everyone:

I think the objective here is SCHOOL.

I think of this as ridiculous and somewhat Racist.  Rich or Poor, kids are sent to school to learn, not be driven into slavery.   This is an insult and the people suggesting this should go back to school, themselves, to capture some morales. 

In my opinion, we should do a test-run with this idea, starting with the kids of this/these morons.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Dec. 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM
1 mom liked this
I work for the state and I can assure you 75% of the people who are part of these free lunch programs aren't "in poverty" most are middle class with a parent who lost their job and going through foreclosure. Ten years ago I could agree with your statement but the face of the free lunch program is no longer for the poor. They bare middle class families who fell on hard times

Quoting GertieK:

Not the kids, but it is time that some kind of way to earn what you are given is put in place - and it is the parents who are being given when their kids are fed.  I agree that if PA required some form of equal exchange of energy - people would be running from it in droves.  Yes, kids should have food to eat - but at some point we need to find a way to make sure the food is going to the kids that need it.  We have created a culture of entitlement, and should be teaching kids that the food doesn't just magically appear - that someone paid for it somewhere along the line.  I think that there would be pride in knowing that as a parent I contributed toward feeding my child, and from the child's prospective - that my parent(s) were the ones helping provide for me.  Work ethics these days are almost nonexistent, and this is what kids are seeing and being taught.  We should take pride in finding ways to help people get up out of their poverty, rather than making it comfortable for them to stay.  The best result would be for free lunches to not be necessary anymore.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)