I originally put this post up last February. As we near the end of the school year, it’s important to consider just how important school lunch is to the nutritional needs of some kids. And what is going to happen in a few weeks when summer vacation begins.
By Ed Nicholson photo by eyeliam–Creative Commons
A colleague of mine came into the office last year with a compelling story. Her eight year-old grandson frequently spent time with her on weekends. Often he was accompanied by a good friend: a normal looking kid; clean, well-dressed, well-mannered.. The friend had a voracious appetite, eating just about everything in his path. When my colleague made a lighthearted comment about how much he could pack away, he said, “We don’t eat much at my house on the weekend.” Turns out, life was pretty tough for this kid. His single dad was making some choices that didn’t exactly put nutrition at the top of the priority list for his family.
Unfortunately, this kind of story is way too common in our land of plenty.
It’s Friday afternoon here in the Ozarks. Along about the time this posts, school kids around the country will be eating lunch. For some of them, it will be the last good meal they’ll have until Monday. If I’m reading the charts correctly, over 15 million kids participate in the free school lunch program. For a lot of these kids, the school lunch program is their lifeline; there just aren’t three squares on the weekends and holidays.
We know there are lots of stories about these kids out there. If you have one and would like to tell it here, leave us a comment, and we’ll get with you. You can guest post, or just let us tell it.
No kid should dread the weekend.