Will you help our local school kids get stress-free lunches?
- Lunch debt has become a 'nationwide epidemic' in our schools
- More than 12 million children in the US are in 'food insecure' families - a polite way to say they can't afford to eat!
- School lunches are often the only square meal that many impoverished children will receive
- 76% of school districts throughout the U.S. report having unpaid meal debt by students, up from 70 percent four years ago.
- Two local schools in our West LA neighborhood (mostly low-income, minority kids) are in need of stress-free, debt-free lunches
- Brad Keimach and I have teamed up to raise enough to pay for Brockton Elementary & University High Schools' students, so that there is no lunch debt concern for school year 2018-2019
And that’s where you come in!
(There’s no way we could do this alone.)
Will funding lunches for these kids change the world? We can’t say. But it will certainly change the world for each kid that gets to eat, and their family, to be free from the added pressure and shame of not being able to afford a basic need for the kids: daily lunch.
Will you help us help our local kids eat healthy, nourishing lunches this year?
The school principals have given us these numbers:
Brockton Elementary School’s lunch budget is $20,000
University High School’s budget is approximately $10,000
In each school, were these balances paid, every child can eat a full meal every day and their families will not have to stress about how to pay for food, or about outstanding lunch debt by the end of the school year.
100% OF FUNDS GOES TO LUNCHES & THAT'S IT
The great thing about this fundraiser is that 100% of the money raised goes to the lunches! the schools involved have happily made this commitment.
So whatever you give will go directly to help kids eat - a fundamental need fufilled, and a generation of young students better equipped to get the most out of their education this year.
DONATE, SHARE, SUPPORT
Please, please, join us in our mission to keep our local kids healthy and happy this school year. Every amount helps us get nearer our goal of $30,000 to cover two schools’ low-income student populations.
If you can’t donate funds directly, at least commit to share this campaign and enlist the help of friends who maybe CAN donate (and share)….?
And thank you, thank you, thank you, on behalf of our local kids here in Los Angeles.
There are not enough hugs of gratitude for all of you!
HOW THIS CAME ABOUT:
Last spring, there was a news story from Rhode Island, about “Lunch Shaming” in schools — kids with outstanding lunch debt were given peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of a full hot meal. The CEO of Chobani Yogurt company read this news, and paid the majority of lunch debt for the whole school district, so that all the kids could eat a healthy lunch without fear of debt or lunch shaming.
Our kids need to eat! No one can learn when their tummies are rumbling with hunger, or when their young bodies are improperly nourished.
If our low-income kids aren’t guaranteed at least one good meal a day, through their school lunches… then what?
You can imagine the catastrophic, cumulative effects of malnutrition added to the stress of poverty on these kids (and their families). How can they learn effectively, and play freely at recess, without proper nutrition?
Paid last year...
Last year, inspired by the Chobani intervention and a hefty tax refund, my mate Brad decided to find out about the low-income schools in our neighborhood and see what the lunch debt situation might be. On his neighborhood walks, he frequently passes by two schools (Brockton Elementary and University High School).
So he called to find out if there is unpaid lunch debt with the kids in these schools. Turns out, of course, YES!
The principal at Brockton told him, not only “Yes, our kids are facing unpaid lunch debt,” but also “It is a national epidemic!”
Both schools (Brockton and University High) are Title 1 schools, which means they have a very large percentage of economically challenged families. Some of those families are terrified of applying for lunch assistance, because of the brutality of ICE. They don't want to put their family at risk by raising their profile with the government by applying for assistance, as immigrants.
Sooooo……after some discussion and joining forces here at home with UCBK, the non-profit that I administrate (with a chartered directive to feed those who are in need), the unpaid balance for lunch debts in these two schools got paid off, last year, in a kind-hearted, anonymous fashion.
This year, we’ve decided to get bolder:
We’ve decided to try and raise enough funds so that in our neighborhood, the kids are well-fed and able to learn and grow properly. Both schools’ student populations are predominantly children of color. (A white person himself, my mate Brad feels it is an exercise of his well-intentioned "White Privilege" to be able to help these kids.)
We hope you'll be inspired by this example and join forces with us, here in LA, to help the kids in these two schools.
LUNCH DEBT IN RECENT NEWS:
From New Jersey:
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For GoFundMe general disclaimer/explanation purposes.... UCBK, The Universal Church of Baba's Kitchen, the non-profit spiritual and charitable organization that I administrate (as President of the board), is raising this money on behalf of the low-income kids needing lunch in our two local schools, Brockton Elementary and University High School.
We have a large email and donor base, so it makes sense for us to get the word out, collect the funds, and give them to the two schools as soon as we have them available.