Hunger is a thief: Hungry children and ‘lunch shaming’

April 21, 2017 Published by

One out of every six children in the U.S. is food insecure, i.e., does not know when they will get their next meal.

I agree that lunches should not be taken away and that a child should not be “shamed” for unpaid debt. But not allowing a substitute sandwich?! Amid all of this conversation about “lunch shaming” and “unpaid school lunch debt,” the real issue is HUNGRY CHILDREN.

What do you do when you are a school administrator or teacher and you know you have hungry children—and you cannot give them a lunch or provide a substitute? For me, as a former principal, the issue is not just a legal or financial one, but a moral and emotional one.

Hunger is a thief. It robs you of everything—the ability to think, the ability to learn, the inclination to civility. It is a driving, unrelenting force. If you are a child, it robs you of meeting developmental and learning needs, builds anxiety, promotes poor health, and impacts physical development.

Will there be a forced choice now? Will the only option for children be hunger?


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This post was written by Ruby Payne

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