3 hots = well taught?

Some Memphis schools are serving an early dinner to students who attend the after-school program, reports the Commercial Appeal.  For now, dinner is a sandwich and salad, but soon schools will serve a hot meal in the afternoon.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, it’s been four hours since lunch, and Will Adams, 11, needs more than a snack to get through his day, which ends at 6 p.m. when after-care closes.

. . . “With a snack, I’d go home hungry,” said Will. “With supper, I go home full.

 The federal government now subsidizes breakfast, lunch (it’s over by 10:30?) and dinner (served at 2:30?).  Schools and community groups get$2.77 per dinner plus 22 cents in federal commodities to cover food costs and labor. If at least half the school’s students qualify for a subsidized lunch, everyone gets a free dinner, no questions asked.

For “a lot” of students , “there is this enormous gap between lunch and breakfast the next day,” said Tony Geraci, who runs the Memphis schools’ nutrition program. “Our goal is to fill the gap.”

Are there really “a lot” of parents who don’t feed their children a single meal at home? And why can’t Memphis serve lunch at lunch time?

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  1. Fromer HS Science Teacher says:

    I’m about as liberal as they come but geez. Are these the same kids who wear $100 tennis shoes and play on their iPhones during class? Would we find flat screen televisions and dozens of Wii games in their homes?

    At this rate, we should just make high-poverty schools boarding schools and officially take over the duties of parents. We’re already taking care of most of their responsibilities.

    • Amen. Same politics, same reaction to this story. If schools want to make sure children are not malnourished, they should be required to document the (I’m guessing not too many) children who are not being fed at home and cannot be fed at home. Family life consists mostly of eating together; what’s left if the school provides all the meals?

    • Actually, if started early enough, boarding schools for inner city youths would do much to end the cycle of corrupt morality and ignorance that develops there.

  2. Michael E. Lopez says:

    When you subsidize behavior, you get more of it.

  3. Cranberry says:

    If they eat the last school meal at 2:30, I bet they eat another meal at home. It’s funny that I have no problem with my children being hungry at some point in their day. Coming home hungry = a good appetite for dinner.

    What time is breakfast? If lunch is served at 10:30, is breakfast served at 7:30? Thinking of my children’s schedule, breakfast is eaten at home at 6:50 – 7:10, lunch between 11:30 and 1:00, and dinner around 7:30. There may be small snacks between. Three meals in 12 hours, compared to three meals in 7 hours (or, four meals in 12 hours).

    Are there many undernoursished students in the Memphis schools? If the parents aren’t feeding them, one would expect to see physical evidence of hunger.

    And yet, in 2007, Forbes Magazine deemed Memphis America’s “most obese city.” http://www.forbes.com/2007/11/14/health-obesity-cities-forbeslife-cx_rr_1114obese.html

    • Deirdre Mundy says:

      I have noticed that my kids do best when they have nutrient dense (meat+ veggies or dairy and veggies or nuts+veggies) mini-meals every two hours. The key is the nutrition density. A bowl of cereal leaves them whining for food again in an hour. A nice omelet? We can get through school without tears.

      I homeschool, so this is an easy schedule for me–but I wonder how many school kids would also do better with frequent, small, but nutritious meals instead of 3 meals of crud?

  4. My son is a middle schooler this year and the school really was pushing the free lunch application this year, assuring students to tell their parents they only have to report one parent’s income and will likely qualify. I’m sure the school’s numbers went way up.

    My question is what is the school’s incentive to increase their free lunch numbers?

    • I hope this isn’t exactly what happened, because it would mean your son’s school was encouraging families to commit fraud/perjury. Their incentive might be the possibility of securing extra Title I funding.

      I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I’m going to speculate that what your son’s school was really doing is reminding kids from single-parent households that they only need to report one household’s income. But if you’re sure you’re right, this is absolutely something you should report to your district.

  5. Walter E Wallis says:

    I raised 4 on one income, provided 3 squares and a flop for all. Where did I go wrong?