End School Lunch Shaming in RI
In many schools in Rhode Island, a student will wait in line to fill their tray at lunch, only to reach the register and be told they don't have the funds for their meal. What happens next is that their hot food is taken away, thrown in the trash, and replaced with a cold substitute in front of their peers. In many schools, what passes as an adequate substitute is a cold sandwich comprised of bread and cheese.
Embarrassing children is not the way to deal with a school lunch account that is in arrears. This week in New Mexico, school lunch shaming was made illegal.
Many of Rhode Island's urban communities and public schools are comprised of low-income citizens and students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Some students have parents who can't read paperwork sent home in English, and with adult illiteracy at staggering numbers in these communities, it's probable that often the paperwork isn't read at all.
Without the proper assistance or someone in the school system to follow through with the families of these children, many of them don't realize that they qualify and have fallen through the cracks.
Our goal is to work with Title 1 schools in Rhode Island, school committees, the districts, and the companies (Aramark & Sodexo) that provide food for the lunch programs to reduce school lunch debt in our communities and end school lunch shaming for our children.
We are beginning our fundraising for the Elizabeth Baldwin School in Pawtucket, RI. Baldwin's debt makes up $5,983.83 of Pawtucket Schools' over $38,000 school lunch defecit.
- Resist Oppression, Resist Hate RI's Sub-group For Social & Racial Justice
Lunch Shaming in RI: suburban schools say let students eat cheese sandwiches (RI Future)
Eta: The beneficiary for this account is Adria Marchetti. She has been chosen as de facto leader of our campaign, and both our donors and the school system have been notified that she will be processing all checks. Thanks!!
Thank you all for your donations! As you may already know, PSD has changed the lunch policy and is providing free lunch to all Baldwin Elementary and Cunningham Elementary students this year! They have also decided to wipe the school lunch debt for the past few years and pay it off. Which means we are looking for an organization providing food services to the same population of kids that experience food insecurity on a regular basis. We are in the process of finding an organization or group providing weekend food backpacks or holiday food baskets. Stay tuned for more information.