Sep 18, 2019
Join Sara and Misasha as they “dish” on school lunches:
affordability, why kids are going hungry, and a public comment
period that’s open until September 23rd, 2019. Federal assistance
may potentially be cut for 500,000 kids, so what happens to lunch
if that happens? Finally, you don’t want to miss Sara and Misasha
sharing their favorite childhood school lunches, as well as what
their kids eat!
- There are high numbers of children who rely on breakfast and
lunch at school because they don’t get fed at home.
- At the end of July, Pennsylvania officials came under fire for
when they attempted to collect money owed for school lunches in one
of the poorest districts in the state. After failing to reach
families through other modes of communication, the Director of
Federal Programs for the Wyoming Valley West School District sent a
letter to about 1,000 families who owed an average of $28, stating
that “Your child has been sent to school every day without money,
and without a breakfast and/or lunch. This is a failure to provide
your child with proper nutrition, and you can be sent to Dependency
Court for neglecting your child’s right to food. If you are taken
to Dependency Court, the result may be your child being removed
from your home and placed in foster care.”
- After this letter was sent, county officials dismissed the
threat, stating it was empty and was not going to be acted
- In the Wyoming Valley West School District in Pennsylvania, 1
in 5 children lives in poverty. In the coming year, free lunches
will be provided to ALL students in the district because at least
60% of them meet the federal income threshold to qualify for free
- For a family of 4 living in the contiguous United States, if
you make $47,638 annually (or the equivalent of $917 per week), you
qualify for reduced lunch.
- The threshold for free school meals is $33,475 annually (or the
equivalent of $644 per week). This would mean that a student would
qualify for free breakfasts and lunches.
- For a family of 4, you meet the federal guidelines for poverty
if your annual income is less than $25,750.
- As the example in Pennsylvania highlights, there’s a lot of
hostility towards low-income students and families who struggle
- In Georgia, Brandy Whitehead’s 6-year-old daughter told her
mother she was hungry when her mom picked her up from kindergarten
in early 2018. Her lunch had only consisted of a cheese sandwich
and water. The reason was that over the holiday, Whitehead had
overlooked a notice from the school district saying she owed “a
couple of dollars in student lunch debt”. By the time the students
returned to school, the debt had risen to the $12.50 limit allowed
before students are served alternative meals.
- Whitehead’s daughter ate several meals of cheese sandwiches
before the mom was notified of the debt. The daughter thought she
was being punished for something she did, and has not forgotten
- Sara and Misasha break down the national school lunch
- Lunch programs not only feed a child’s hunger, but they also
fuel a child’s mental health and physical growth.
- Experiencing poverty in your early years can have long-lasting,
- Misasha recounts statistics involving racial disparity in
- It falls on the shoulders of school administrators to commit to
more equitable school lunch practices.
- Misasha reviews proposals and major changes in the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) and the School Lunch
- Here’s the good news: While this rule has been proposed, it is
not done. You have the ability to go online and voice your
concerns, but you only have until September 23rd to do this!
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Best Practices for Preventing or Reducing School Meal
Toolkit for Lunch Lines
GO TO THIS WEBSITE AND LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals,
Submissions, and Approvals: National School Lunch
(Look for the Dark Blue
“Comment Now!” Button in the Upper Right-Hand Corner of the