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Are Students Entitled to Free Lunches Just Because?

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When I was in public school, you had three choices for lunch.  Pay for lunch at the school cafeteria, bring your lunch from home or go hungry.  The school was not responsible for feeding a student who forgets their lunch or didn’t have money to buy one.

It was called ‘responsibility.’  Students and their parents were supposed to be responsible for providing for themselves.  For most of my public school days, I got up early enough to fix my own lunch.  The days I felt lazy and too tired to pack my own lunch, I went hungry.  I was responsible for my lunch, not the school.  Whenever I was given money to buy lunch at the school cafeteria, I thought I was living the good life.

In today’s world of entitlements and liberal sociology, it seems that it’s everyone’s responsibility to provide for a student when they and their parents fail to do so.  Students are no longer being taught responsibility and evidently, neither are their parents.

Case in point is what happened at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro, Massachusetts.  The school covers grades 5 through 8.  On Tuesday, the school denied lunch to as many as 25 students because they could not pay for the meal or their pre-paid lunch cards were out of funds.  Some students in the cafeteria line received their food, but when they got to the cash register, they were told that they could not eat it because of lack of funds.  In most cases, the meals were tossed in the garbage, because they had already been served and could not be put back according to health codes.

It was reported that some students actually cried when they were denied a free lunch.  One parent reported that her son offered to share his lunch with a girl in line with him who began crying when she was told to dump hers because of lack of funds.  Another parent, John Greaves was incensed that his daughter was told to throw her lunch away because she had no way of paying for it.  He said that people in prison get fed but that his honor student daughter was going hungry.

Whitson’s Culinary Group is the company that runs the school cafeteria.  The local site director for Coelho Middle School was placed on administrative leave because of what happened.  Pia Durkin, school superintendent said that the cafeteria workers failed to follow policy of providing a cheese sandwich and glass of milk to any student that can’t pay for a lunch.  She promised that no student will ever go hungry again.

So what does all this teach the students?  When you can’t pay your own way or not responsible enough to pay, you should expect the system to pay and provide for you.  If John Greaves was so upset because his honor student went hungry, I question to him is why didn’t you provide your honor student with the funds to pay for her lunch like a responsibly parent should?  Where does he get off expecting the school to do be responsible when he’s not?

The school district says that they currently have a deficit of $1,800 for delinquent student accounts.  At a time when so many school districts have to make drastic financial cuts including laying off teachers, every dollar is precious.  I hate to see kids go hungry, but blame the parents and the students, not the school.  If the parents don’t have the money for the cafeteria lunches, then they should see that their kids pack a lunch like millions of us have done for years.

source

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 7:49 AM
Replies (31-40):
Megan11587
by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I can see spotting their lunch if they forget once, maybe twice.  But at what point is the parent taking advantage of the system?

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM


Easy there. I was agreeing with you.

The kids need the food in order to have normal brain development. The free school lunch program isn't paid for by schools, which is how it should be in my opinion. 

My concern is the schools having to pick up the bill.

Quoting Woodbabe:

So we should do away with the free lunch program? You do understand that in many impoverished areas, this meal at school is the ONLY mean some kids get all day? We all pay school taxes (well those of us who actually own homes/property) and part of that goes to fund free school lunches for those who need it. If you sincerely believe poor children are of no value and don't deserve to eat, please...feel free to petition your local government and press the issue.

Quoting desertlvn:

*nods head*

If you look at it at a more basic level you realize that children who don't receive adequate nutrition don't have normal brain development, which hurts society as much as it hurts children.

I just don't think the schools should be responsible for paying for those free lunches. 

Quoting Woodbabe:

When you step back and examine this issue on a higher level, providing a lunch makes much more sense. On a basic level a hungry child cannot learn, and they're going to be disruptive to the learning environment for everyone else. On the broader level, a country cannot move forward without educating its children...its what sets us apart from second and third world countries. If we don't have an educated population, people can't work and contribute to society. 






IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM

 I was just saying how it should have gone down...

I see no problem with healthy kids that eat on a regular basis to miss a lunch. Throwing out food while there are kids starving, did bug me.

Maybe parents will pay up now...

Quoting christina0607:

This specific school actually has very few kids on the free lunch program. No one in this school is starving. 

The school couldn't have sent out a letter as they had no idea Whitsons was going to do this. They found out at the first lunch period and then made an announcement to all later lunches. Some kids were able to call home and have lunch brought to them, others not. 

The lunch people are not employees of the school and without notice their hands were really tied at that point. 

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I think throwing out the food was very wrong. I'm guessing all the kids that didn't get fed that day came from families that could afford to pay..kids that aren't going hungry at home...or they would be on the free lunch program.

The school should have sent out letters saying your child will not receive hot lunch until you pay up..then have someone in the front of the line checking.

I don't believe any of those kids were going to starve by missing one lunch. The parents should be embarrassed and ashamed for neglecting their kids..not the school, imo.


 

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God"...Billy Graham
christina0607
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Unfortunately they haven't. The principle sent out a letter the next day apologizing for the embarrassment and stated that he would personally buy lunch for any child who was denied for any reason. 

That one will come back to bite him in the ass. 

Nothing changed the school is still in the same debt the were a week ago. 

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I was just saying how it should have gone down...

I see no problem with healthy kids that eat on a regular basis to miss a lunch. Throwing out food while there are kids starving, did bug me.

Maybe parents will pay up now...

Quoting christina0607:

This specific school actually has very few kids on the free lunch program. No one in this school is starving. 

The school couldn't have sent out a letter as they had no idea Whitsons was going to do this. They found out at the first lunch period and then made an announcement to all later lunches. Some kids were able to call home and have lunch brought to them, others not. 

The lunch people are not employees of the school and without notice their hands were really tied at that point. 

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I think throwing out the food was very wrong. I'm guessing all the kids that didn't get fed that day came from families that could afford to pay..kids that aren't going hungry at home...or they would be on the free lunch program.

The school should have sent out letters saying your child will not receive hot lunch until you pay up..then have someone in the front of the line checking.

I don't believe any of those kids were going to starve by missing one lunch. The parents should be embarrassed and ashamed for neglecting their kids..not the school, imo.


 


Make someone happy today, mind your own business.

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM
4 moms liked this

Children are not responsible for feeding themselves. 

Adults in their lives are. 

I have no problem making sure children are fed. A well-fed child does much better academically. A child that does better academically has a better chance at being a successfull "contributing member of society". 

Crap on a cracker, why the hell are people in the richest, most powerful country in the world complaining about feeding kids? Sorry, that just makes you an asshole. 

GeekMommi
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Candle this is really a question for you, like I mentioned before....why not go after prisoners who get free meals instead of kids?


Quoting candlegal:

I would be willing to bet the school did send out letters and the parents didn't pay any attention to them.


Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I think throwing out the food was very wrong. I'm guessing all the kids that didn't get fed that day came from families that could afford to pay..kids that aren't going hungry at home...or they would be on the free lunch program.

The school should have sent out letters saying your child will not receive hot lunch until you pay up..then have someone in the front of the line checking.

I don't believe any of those kids were going to starve by missing one lunch. The parents should be embarrassed and ashamed for neglecting their kids..not the school, imo.




cjsmom1
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM
In this example it is the parents fault. I feel bad for the kids but I bet the parents will pay after this. As far as responsibility I have no problem with free lunches. For many kids this is the only nutritional meal they'll get all day.
When I lived in NY they offered free lunch all summer long to anyone under 18. It was great because by the time I was a preteen I was home alone and the program allowed me to eat things I couldn't make.
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Boundbylove
by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:58 AM


You are responsible for your own family either provide lunch or fill out the FREE lunch papers in a timely manner.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

The FDA (I think) subsidizes food for these kids because its understood how important it is. I think parents should be able to put shoes on their kids feets AND feed them lunch but the sad reality is that many can't. Should the kids suffer the sins of the mother? I personally saw a hundred kids loaded onto school buses and taken to payless for a new pair of shoes at the elementary school I worked at last year. 

Quoting desertlvn:


Easy there. I was agreeing with you.

The kids need the food in order to have normal brain development. The free school lunch program isn't paid for by schools, which is how it should be in my opinion. 

My concern is the schools having to pick up the bill.

Quoting Woodbabe:

So we should do away with the free lunch program? You do understand that in many impoverished areas, this meal at school is the ONLY mean some kids get all day? We all pay school taxes (well those of us who actually own homes/property) and part of that goes to fund free school lunches for those who need it. If you sincerely believe poor children are of no value and don't deserve to eat, please...feel free to petition your local government and press the issue.

Quoting desertlvn:

*nods head*

If you look at it at a more basic level you realize that children who don't receive adequate nutrition don't have normal brain development, which hurts society as much as it hurts children.

I just don't think the schools should be responsible for paying for those free lunches. 

Quoting Woodbabe:

When you step back and examine this issue on a higher level, providing a lunch makes much more sense. On a basic level a hungry child cannot learn, and they're going to be disruptive to the learning environment for everyone else. On the broader level, a country cannot move forward without educating its children...its what sets us apart from second and third world countries. If we don't have an educated population, people can't work and contribute to society. 







 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

 Oh my...I hope he's ready to pay for a LOT of school lunches. If the parents still aren't paying up at this point..you know they will take advantage of that offer. Although, I'm sure he made sure they never deny food again...Cheese sandwiches for ALL!

Quoting christina0607:

Unfortunately they haven't. The principle sent out a letter the next day apologizing for the embarrassment and stated that he would personally buy lunch for any child who was denied for any reason. 

That one will come back to bite him in the ass. 

Nothing changed the school is still in the same debt the were a week ago. 

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I was just saying how it should have gone down...

I see no problem with healthy kids that eat on a regular basis to miss a lunch. Throwing out food while there are kids starving, did bug me.

Maybe parents will pay up now...

Quoting christina0607:

This specific school actually has very few kids on the free lunch program. No one in this school is starving. 

The school couldn't have sent out a letter as they had no idea Whitsons was going to do this. They found out at the first lunch period and then made an announcement to all later lunches. Some kids were able to call home and have lunch brought to them, others not. 

The lunch people are not employees of the school and without notice their hands were really tied at that point. 

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 I think throwing out the food was very wrong. I'm guessing all the kids that didn't get fed that day came from families that could afford to pay..kids that aren't going hungry at home...or they would be on the free lunch program.

The school should have sent out letters saying your child will not receive hot lunch until you pay up..then have someone in the front of the line checking.

I don't believe any of those kids were going to starve by missing one lunch. The parents should be embarrassed and ashamed for neglecting their kids..not the school, imo.


 


 

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God"...Billy Graham
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