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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Take My Idea Please: School Lunch Inclusion

During my elementary school years, I would forget my sack lunch at least once every other week.

On those days, I ended up charging my lunch and paying for it the next day. I did not have to endure the indignity of having a crappy sandwich with a side of attitude from the school staff.

My mom docked my allowance for the charged meal and over time this seemed  to remedy my sack lunch forgetfulness.  However, in the 21st century, they do things a little differently.

Children are given the equivalent of a cheese or peanut butter sandwich and sent on their way. Everyone is outraged and yet, what are we doing about this? Sure, we can preach about parents being more responsible and kids needing to "toughen up". But, what if the child is on prescription medication which requires more calories in their system than a cheese sandwich?

We need to come up with a process of system in which the child is still fed a full lunch without bankrupting a school district's budget.

Below are a few ideas for fixing this situation:

1.  An app can be created in which, parents can set up an electronic slush fund of $20 to $60 with the school district to cover lunch charges.  The account would automatically shut down when the threshold reach  under $4.00.

2. The PTA can create a yearly line item within their budget to cover these lunches. They can even include this cause in their annual fundraising efforts.

3. School cafeterias can offer more sandwich options than just cheese and peanut butter.

Now, these ideas are not fully formed but, I know that there are some smart folks out in the world whom will be able to apply all or some of them to their schools.

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