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Parenting版 - Unpaid Lunch Tabs for Schools
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话题: school话题: lunch话题: districts话题: children话题: meal
1 (共1页)
a*****g
发帖数: 19398
1
摘要:
有的学生饭卡上没钱了——
学校不玩大方,被媒体一顿臭骂
学校玩大方的,结果欠一屁股账没人管
Like many parents of school-age children, Frances Frost tries to keep up
with the papers sent home in her daughter Natalie’s backpack. Sifting
through permission slips, picture day fliers, field-trip notices, and other
forms seems like a daily occurrence, and often somewhere lost in the pile is
a reminder to send money to her fifth-grader’s school cafeteria. As the
mother of four, refilling school lunch accounts is second nature by now, but
last week she was caught by surprise. When her youngest went through the
cafeteria line to buy lunch, the cafeteria worker told Natalie she didn’t
have enough money to pay for her food: Her mother had forgotten to make the
last deposit.
The Silver Spring, Maryland, mom says the lunch server graciously let
Natalie keep her selected hot lunch with a reminder to bring money for her
meal account. Still, Frost says a process that subjects children to the
embarrassment of returning their lunch—one that isn’t uncommon in schools
across the country—just isn’t sound. “There should be a way to indicate
before they get into line that they don’t have enough on their account to
save [children] the distress of having to return their lunch,” she said.
A debate on school nutrition—trading pizza, fries, and cookies for whole
grains, fruits and vegetables—has raged for years, while a parallel debate
has gone somewhat unnoticed and unaddressed: What should be the consequence
for children with delinquent school-meal accounts? While the most pressing
issue in some school cafeterias is students tossing healthier school lunches
in the trash, in others it is school employees dumping children’s lunches
in the trash for nonpayment. And the result is hungry children, stunned
parents, and increasing questions about how school districts handle overdue
payments.
Last year in Bedford, Kentucky, parents complained and accused the local
elementary school of “bullying” after a child’s lunch was confiscated and
thrown away in front of her friends for running a negative balance. In
Dowagiac, Michigan, Dominic Gant, a high-schooler, was left embarrassed and
hungry when his lunch was taken and trashed for owing $4.95. A 12-year-old
in Dickinson, Texas had his school breakfast dumped over a 30 cent debt. And
two years ago in Utah, some 40 students had their lunches seized for unpaid
meal debts in a case that caused a national uproar. A parent of one of the
Utah children told the Salt Lake Tribune it was a “despicable” act, and
questioned why children should be “punished or humiliated for something the
parents obviously need to clear up.”
RELATED STORY
An Easier Way to Enroll in School Lunches
The notion of taking children’s lunches away and throwing them in the trash
—in some cases, in front of the child and their peers—angers parents and
exposes school officials to scorn. But behind the outrage lurks a larger
issue. Survey data from the advocacy group School Nutrition Association
shows that overdrawn lunch accounts create real financial challenges for
school districts, forced to weigh mounting costs against unsatisfied
students and families.
Findings from the group’s “State of School Nutrition 2014” offers a
glimpse at the scope of the problem for school leaders. In a nationally
representative survey of more than 1,100 school nutrition directors working
in public-school districts, nearly 71 percent of districts reported their
school nutrition program had unpaid student-meal debt at the end of the 2012
-13 school year. The amount of debt varied greatly depending on the size of
the district, with school-lunch debt ranging from $2 among the smallest
jurisdictions to $4.7 million among large districts. And for more than one-
third of districts (38 percent), the number of students who can’t afford to
pay for their lunch is growing, in part an indication of the higher
percentage of children now living in poverty. According to SNA, the
increases are most common in mid-sized school districts, and geographically
concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast.
Parents and school administrators must work together to reach a balance and
develop meal policies “that respect students while preventing escalating
unpaid meal debts,” said Diane Pratt-Heavner, the nutrition association’s
spokesperson. While federal funds cover the cost of school breakfast and
lunch for low-income children, parents “[saddle] the district with a debt
that impacts the quality of meals for all students,” when they fail to
enroll in the program or pay for their children’s full-price meals, Pratt-
Heavner said, adding that school-meal programs typically operate
independently of districtwide budgets and rely on sales to cover food and
labor costs.
The USDA, which oversees school-nutrition programs, says unpaid meals are a
matter of “local discretion,” according to Pratt-Heavner, whose
organization seeks clear and firm federal guidance on how schools should
manage unpaid meal debts. To strike a compromise, many districts establish
policies to feed students unable to pay for a hot school meal. In the SNA
survey, a majority of districts had either a formal policy (46 percent) or
informal procedure (29 percent) for students who lack the funds to pay for
breakfast or lunch. What’s not so easily measured, however, is the
underlying stigma associated with receiving free or reduced-price meals that
might force some families to opt out of the assistance.
While tossing food is not a preferred method, alternatives can be equally
tricky. Substitute meals, which some districts use as a compromise, can also
earn condemnation from students. Earlier this year, an Indiana student took
to social media after witnessing a lunch tray taken away from a classmate
at her high school and replaced with cheese and bread. In a January 5th
Facebook post, Sierra Feitl shared a picture of the sparse lunch, calling it
“absolutely mortifying” that her classmates would receive this as their
daily school meal. On the defensive, the district superintendent countered
that Kokomo School Corporation had more than $50,000 in delinquent meal fees
last year, and the new policy was consistent with neighboring districts.>
“Children shouldn’t be made to go the day without any lunch because of
their parent’s action … it’s the child who suffers the consequences.”
Understanding the impact of these responses to nonpayment is especially
important given how many children suffer from food insecurity. A 2015 online
survey of K-8 teachers, principals, and support staff conducted by the
national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength found 75 percent of
teachers and 84 percent of principals say their students are coming to
school hungry, and more than half (59 percent) of educators state “a lot or
most” of their students depend on school meals as a primary source of
nutrition.
Similar findings on child hunger have led some urban school districts with
large numbers of low-income families—including Boston, Chicago, and
Baltimore—to bypass the bookkeeping and provide free breakfast and lunch to
all students regardless of financial means. The programs, which are
subsidized by the USDA’s Community Eligibility Program, replace cafeteria
checkout lines and the angst of overdrawn lunch accounts with universal free
breakfast and lunch.
The federal program also helps prevent the side effects of hunger on
education, which research shows can interfere with physical and cognitive
skills, from strength and coordination to concentration and problem-solving.
As the Maryland state lawmaker Keith Haynes explained to the Huffington
Post about Baltimore’s new meal initiative: “Students, whether they can
afford to purchase food or not throughout the school year, now have the same
access to balanced, nutritious meals … it lets students focus on getting
through the day without having to be hungry.”
In trying to see the issue from all perspectives, Frost, the Maryland mom,
settles on what may be the most crucial consideration. “I can imagine it’s
hard for the cafeteria worker that has to retrieve a lunch from a child.
And yes, parents who can afford to do so should be responsible in paying
their child’s lunch fees. Yet children shouldn’t be made to go the day
without any lunch because of their parent’s action … it’s the child who
suffers the consequences.”
M********s
发帖数: 24729
2
重点?

other
is
but
the

【在 a*****g 的大作中提到】
: 摘要:
: 有的学生饭卡上没钱了——
: 学校不玩大方,被媒体一顿臭骂
: 学校玩大方的,结果欠一屁股账没人管
: Like many parents of school-age children, Frances Frost tries to keep up
: with the papers sent home in her daughter Natalie’s backpack. Sifting
: through permission slips, picture day fliers, field-trip notices, and other
: forms seems like a daily occurrence, and often somewhere lost in the pile is
: a reminder to send money to her fifth-grader’s school cafeteria. As the
: mother of four, refilling school lunch accounts is second nature by now, but

a*****g
发帖数: 19398
3
作者的重点——学生有的账上没钱了,学校玩大方,也欠了一屁股账

pile
the
the
’t

【在 M********s 的大作中提到】
: 重点?
:
: other
: is
: but
: the

M********s
发帖数: 24729
4
木兰上小学时有时被贴sticker,欠饭费一顿,我赶紧开支票

【在 a*****g 的大作中提到】
: 作者的重点——学生有的账上没钱了,学校玩大方,也欠了一屁股账
:
: pile
: the
: the
: ’t

a*****g
发帖数: 19398
5
学校承担了太多不应该承担的职责
难怪现在都招不到老师了

【在 M********s 的大作中提到】
: 木兰上小学时有时被贴sticker,欠饭费一顿,我赶紧开支票
M********s
发帖数: 24729
6
这是两条线,找不到好老师可能是工资待遇低也可能是本学区不好混口碑差,一般水涨
船高老师这活儿属于半义工性质,但混饭吃的人也存在,所以聪明孩子会自学并不完全
依赖老师的好与差

【在 a*****g 的大作中提到】
: 学校承担了太多不应该承担的职责
: 难怪现在都招不到老师了

1 (共1页)
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请问4岁小孩的 LUNCHBOX, 求建议请推荐一个好的lunch bag
相关话题的讨论汇总
话题: school话题: lunch话题: districts话题: children话题: meal