School lunch should be free
I see a lot of poverty around Rutland County on a daily basis. I don’t like it, and I want it to end. I see a lot of suffering children who have no control over family finances, and I don’t like it. I want it to end.
I also hear a lot of statistics about how many children—as high as two-thirds—are on free or reduced lunch plans in local schools. I have no idea where these statistics come from, and I have no idea if they’re even true. But I do know that child poverty is a real thing, and I know that many students on reduced lunch plans can have trouble finding the cash to get their lunch every day.
So here’s what I want: Make school lunch free in every district, for every child, in every family, in every corner of Vermont, regardless of each family’s financial situation.
This September in Boston, under the direction of a federal program, Mayor Thomas Menino made school breakfast and lunch free and universal across the city.
Students of all income levels can now eat for free without any shame, and low-income parents can know their children are being fed without having to answer invasive questions or fill out complicated paperwork.
In some schools in the Rutland region, lunch is already free—just for practicality’s sake. At a charter school in Boston where I once interviewed, they serve three meals a day so that students don’t have to worry about imperfect home lives affecting their nutrition or education. This is what I want for my community, and I will continue advocating for the children in this region who cannot advocate for themselves.
Because no child should have to go hungry. And because we can do better.