Today, I dealt with hungry children. There is nothing as sad as seeing kids who don’t have enough to eat.
While waivers are being applied for and families are waiting on confirmation for free or reduced lunch costs based on income, children are coming to school without lunch. The cafeteria is telling these kids they can’t charge anymore once they reach a certain limit. Then what? After that they are told to bring in money or pack. Well, they obviously don’t have money or they wouldn’t be applying for a waiver. And they clearly don’t have food at home or parents would be packing it for their child. So if there is no food at home, and they aren’t getting lunch at school, that means the child isn’t eating all day long. That makes me angry.
I have argued with the cafeteria manager to no end about this ridiculous policy. Last year, I put over $300 into an account for kids so that they could have lunch. This year, I finally got her to concede to giving those students a milk, a fruit, a vegetable, and a cheese sandwich. But that isn’t enough. For starters, our cheese sandwich is two pieces of white bread and a slab of that gross orange processed square that doesn’t taste like any cheese in existence on our planet. (There are no peanut butter sandwiches because they can’t have peanut butter in school kitchens anymore due to the severity of peanut allergies in children). So, the cafeteria supervisor at my school is buying kids’ lunches out of her own pocket. I am buying lunches. My Guidance Counselor is buying lunches. Why can’t these kids have the school lunch? Today that consisted of either one beef soft taco or a chicken patty slider that was the size of an apple and not fit to feed a dog. In addition there were tater tots, and according to the new dietary guidelines that students have to follow, a fruit or vegetable which students have to buy. How much money can the cafeteria possibly save by not allowing these children to have that kind of lunch?
One little boy today opened his lunchbox to find 2 packages of Saltines. That’s it. 2 packages of crackers. (I’m getting angry all over again just thinking about this). He was so embarrassed by this that he wouldn’t eat it and wouldn’t accept anything else. My Guidance Counselor snuck an Uncrustable into his lunch box, but this kid’s day was ruined. He wouldn’t eat. In his mind, his mother had let him down (although I’m sure that was the best she could do) and we let him down. Another little girl had nothing packed and no money. Again, the Guidance Counselor bought her an Uncrustable (which we can have because it comes in a sealed package). I bought another little boy a chicken patty slider. At around 2:30, a different child stopped down to the office who was literally too hungry to continue his day. I gave him one of my granola bars. Tomorrow, I’m coming in to work late after a stop at Giant Eagle. This is insane.
How can we let this happen to kids? It isn’t their fault that the paperwork hasn’t been filled out or approved. How can we expect them to concentrate and accomplish anything if they are hungry? Where is the compassion? You can bet that I will be standing at the end of the cafeteria line tomorrow during all 6 lunches to ensure that every child has enough food to eat.
Okay, time to calm down.
Old Schoolhouse Ruud Awakening
2 years ago, I wouldn’t have liked this beer. It is super bitter. And the bitterness goes on forever. The brewery claims plenty of piney, floral, and citrus hops were used in the brewing process, and I don’t doubt it. Although the citrus comes out more as the bitter orange peel. There is no sweetness whatsoever in this huge hoppy beer. If you enjoy that lingering hoppy/piney flavor, you will love this beer. If not, I suggest something different. This beer definitely wasn’t in my wheelhouse a few years ago. But as my tastebuds have changed, this is right up my alley. Perhaps a bit more orange flavor and a bit less orange peel, but honestly, it’s really good. Cheers to Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Washington for this fabulous concoction!