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Why I support free lunch at school

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM
  • 65 Replies
1 mom liked this

THIS is why. Do you?

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/09/11/going-back-school-hungry?cmpid=foodinc-fb

Hunger Eats at Student Productivity—And Our Future Workforce

New reports reveal how food insecurity affects kids’ learning in school and endangers our future workforce.

food insecurity student hunger

(Photo: Francisco Romero/Getty)

For tens of millions of American children, summer’s over, and the focus is once again on math equations, book reports, group projects and standardized tests. School’s back in session.

The end of summer vacation marks a return to a routine of dependable, oftentimes free meals for kids growing up in food-insecure households—but their hunger puts them at a deficit academically. For such students, their concentration and brain function are lacking compared to their better-fed peers, inhibiting their ability to absorb material and succeed in school. There is an increasing consensus that later in life these children will struggle to graduate, find a job, and live as healthy adults—weakening the workforce and costing taxpayers.

These sad realities were the subjects of two research briefs published last week by the pediatrics research and advocacy group Children’s HealthWatch. In “Too Hungry to Learn: Food Insecurity and School Readiness,” researchers synthesized data that shows how the chronic sickness and delayed brain and social development that results from food insecurity inhibits children’s preparedness to learn in a school setting.

But the problem doesn’t start on a kid’s first day of kindergarten.

Dr. Deborah A. Frank, who directs the Boston-based Grow Clinic and also serves as a principal researcher for Children’s HealthWatch, points out that the most rapid brain growth occurs in the first year of a child’s life—more than doubling in size—and the construction of the neurotransmitters that control brain function are affected by the quality and quantity of food a child eats.

“Hunger can affect learning long before a child goes to school or can tell you they’re hungry,” she says. “Many of the children whose learning capacity is being affected by the household food insecurity, their problem is invisible because they’re so young. At the same time the brain is most vulnerable, the brain is most likely to be deprived of the nutrition it needs.”

The research in the brief also ties food insecurity to iron deficiency in young children, which can harm the development of basic motor and social skills. And the stress of problems at home, like food insecurity, stays with children throughout their school years, even damaging crucial brain structures controlling memory and social functioning.

These impacts are only compounded once a child begins school. The brief cites research that found food-insecure students between six and 11 years of age scored lower than their food-secure peers on a measure of child intelligence and were more likely to have seen a child psychologist. Those same children had a harder time getting along with their peers, were more likely to repeat a grade, and scored lower on standardized tests than their non-food-insecure classmates. Children with poor nutrition get sick more often too, leading them to miss classes—a reality Frank says “every grandmother knows.”

In Children’s HealthWatch’s second brief, “Feeding Our Human Capital: Food Insecurity and Tomorrow’s Workforce,” the authors make the case that failing to feed our children now will cost society dearly in the future. Hungry children will score lower on important benchmarks and have lower school engagement, making it more likely that they won’t finish high school, setting up significant challenges for later employment. Food-insecure children grow up to be unhealthy adults, data suggests, creating a real cost to society in the form of healthcare expenses.

In-school programs like backpack feeding and universal free lunch are important in helping kids get enough to eat once they’re of school age, Frank says, but she considers them an incomplete solution because, “the body and brain need nourishment every day.” And if a child’s brain never developed fully because it didn’t get the nutrients it needed early in life, the effects of hunger-related delays will remain—regardless of whether a child gets a free lunch in the cafeteria.

This is where nutrition assistance programs like the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women Infant Children (WIC) can fill a crucial role in the development of children’s brains both before and after they enter school. But a spate of cuts and proposed cuts, as well as sequestration, threatens these programs. On November 1, a temporary boost in SNAP benefits put into place with a 2009 economic stimulus will be rolled back, cutting $5 billion out of the program overnight. That amounts to the loss of 21 meals per month for the average family of four.

And Republicans in the House have suggested cutting the program even further—to the tune of $40.5 billion over 10 years—cuts Frank contends would devastate the hungry young children whose future success in school ride on their nutrition now.

“The numbers impacted will be incalculable,” she says. “This kitchen table program that feeds very young children is under extraordinary threat, and the health and learning capacity of children isn’t ever considered in the conversation.”

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

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
KhloesMom2009
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Sep. 11, 2013 at 6:54 PM
3 moms liked this

If we stop requiring our children to be educated, what long term effects do you think it will have on our society? Education is the number one way to help people get themselves out of poverty. DO you think increased poverty  helps our country in the long run?

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.


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

KhloesMom2009
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

People should want to help themselves. Education should be available, but not mandatory. My perspective on public k-12 education is that it's bureaucratically inundated with ideals that aren't achievable.

People in our country seem to be made to believe that an education is the portal into the "real world". It just isn't true. The real world shows us very quickly that money talks, no matter how educated you have. Education might bring opportunity or even enlightenment, but it doesn't guarantee we can live lives that won't be tarnished by poverty.

Do I think increased poverty is helpful? Hell no. Do I think public education cures poverty? Not necessarily.

Quoting Woodbabe:

If we stop requiring our children to be educated, what long term effects do you think it will have on our society? Education is the number one way to help people get themselves out of poverty. DO you think increased poverty  helps our country in the long run?

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.



jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:13 PM
4 moms liked this

K-12 education is when a child learns to read and write, to do basic maths, and the fundamentals of science, history, and our government.  

ALL of these things are vital for a child's development and future success, and that child isn't capable of making a decision as to whether or not she should have them.

Without these core fundamental skills, you wind up with a young adult that isn't qualified for much other than digging ditches.  A life of minimum wage, government assistance, and grinding poverty.  A young adult that will most likely pass this life onto their children.

Education should absolutely be mandatory.

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

People should want to help themselves. Education should be available, but not mandatory. My perspective on public k-12 education is that it's bureaucratically inundated with ideals that aren't achievable.

People in our country seem to be made to believe that an education is the portal into the "real world". It just isn't true. The real world shows us very quickly that money talks, no matter how educated you have. Education might bring opportunity or even enlightenment, but it doesn't guarantee we can live lives that won't be tarnished by poverty.

Do I think increased poverty is helpful? Hell no. Do I think public education cures poverty? Not necessarily.

Quoting Woodbabe:

If we stop requiring our children to be educated, what long term effects do you think it will have on our society? Education is the number one way to help people get themselves out of poverty. DO you think increased poverty  helps our country in the long run?

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.





turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM
3 moms liked this

Sorry I think that is a load of crap.

I grew up in countries that dont feed the kids at school....our education system is still alive and kicking.

Why are the kids in these countries not brain dead?

KhloesMom2009
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:26 PM
1 mom liked this

The costs associated with educating children shouldn't be supplemented through our gov't. Taxes? Sure. Do you want your kid to have an edge and get an education? GREAT! Send him/her to school. Are you a dead beat parent who doesn't care if your child receives an education? Hey, great! Keep your kid home and take responsibility for them.

My point of view is that kids schouldn't be required to attend school.Sure,we can require kids to go to school and set standards for their educational journey with expectations. That doesn't mean that our kids will meet the goals and standards. It means they get an opportunity. People should get opportunities, I agree with that. But to require kids to mandatorily attend? Nah.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

K-12 education is when a child learns to read and write, to do basic maths, and the fundamentals of science, history, and our government.  

ALL of these things are vital for a child's development and future success, and that child isn't capable of making a decision as to whether or not she should have them.

Without these core fundamental skills, you wind up with a young adult that isn't qualified for much other than digging ditches.  A life of minimum wage, government assistance, and grinding poverty.  A young adult that will most likely pass this life onto their children.

Education should absolutely be mandatory.

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

People should want to help themselves. Education should be available, but not mandatory. My perspective on public k-12 education is that it's bureaucratically inundated with ideals that aren't achievable.

People in our country seem to be made to believe that an education is the portal into the "real world". It just isn't true. The real world shows us very quickly that money talks, no matter how educated you have. Education might bring opportunity or even enlightenment, but it doesn't guarantee we can live lives that won't be tarnished by poverty.

Do I think increased poverty is helpful? Hell no. Do I think public education cures poverty? Not necessarily.

Quoting Woodbabe:

If we stop requiring our children to be educated, what long term effects do you think it will have on our society? Education is the number one way to help people get themselves out of poverty. DO you think increased poverty  helps our country in the long run?

Quoting KhloesMom2009:

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.






rfurlongg
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM
I have always supported the program.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
greenie63
by Silver Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

I do agree, especially when you see this first hand. It's heart breaking when you realize that sometimes the only meal some children eat is at school. I've witnessed children putting food in their pockets to take home because they don't have enough at home. 

sasismommy
by Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:29 PM
Im sorry I don't agree with this line of thinking. Education is the key to so many things. Less Violance, the growth of a country....Poverty produces geniouses, new ideas are born.....A mandatory education is like getting protein everyday. Without it, we all suffer.
Quoting KhloesMom2009:

I wish the gov't would stop pretending it cares about the hungry people. Seriously. IMO our gov't would like to make as many people dependant upon 'them' as possible.

I don't want to see children going hungry. I find it sad. But I don't support school lunch programs. I also don't fully support that our country expects our youth to get an education. Education shouldn't be mandatory.


sasismommy
by Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Also,  If we dont set expectations for our company then we cannot expect to achieve anything

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