Poor kids in N.M. schools forced to eat cold cheese sandwiches when parents can't pay

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posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:45 PM
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I think it's ridiculous that lunch has even become a so called "status symbol" for children in the school systems.

How far will we go to "protect" the child's fragile self esteem?????

Life is not fair and we are doing kids a disservice by attempting to make everything fair...even down to lunch foods.

We are raising a generation of "NOW" mentality kids, who expect and demand that life be adapted specially for them and their individual needs. We cater to them far too much and raising a stink about some kids getting a descent but not terribly "cool" lunch is absolutely shameful, when you take into account how many things the school system is "adapting" to create a fair environment for all.

Speaking from personal experience here as a parent who had a kid who from grade 5 on to graduation never actually earned her marks. She was passed ahead regardless and marks were "created" by teachers to give her a pass, all in the name of protecting her fragile self esteem and making things "fair".

Cheese sandwiches are the least of our troubles in the school systems.




posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Here the kids get a piece of fruit a peanut butter sandwich and a milk. They bag them in brown bags and they let the kids know discreetly before they go to lunch to get one of the brown bags and a milk and then go through check out. I think it is normally the teacher who lets the kids know. There is no complaints around here with this method.

Normally though they eat hot lunches until they hit a 2 week past due mark on thier accounts then it switches over to the bagged lunches. They also make these available to the kids who want to buy them and they sell quit a few of them. It is a cheaper alternative to the hot lunches and kids love the option when there is something being served they do not like.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:47 PM
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My children's school has this same policy. Here's the thing, if these parent's TRULY can't afford to pay for lunch, they can apply for FREE lunch, or reduced lunch. Reduced lunch is 30cents for Breakfat, 40 cents for lunch. So, 70 cents a day, and the meals are good, nutricious. I've been in the cafetria, I've seen it. They have a nice salad bar with fresh veggies and fruit too, which is an all you can eat type thing. 70 cents a day. I pay for my kids lunches, there is a "debit card" system when I deposit monies into their accounts. It has to drop BELOW -$5.00 before they are ever given a Cheese Sandwich (or sunbutter and jelly) meal. The kids get infromed that the balance is negative and a notice is sent home. If the kids are feeling "humiliated", it's the parent's fault. Plain and simple.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by luvforwill

I personally loved and i mean loved the rectangle pizzas with the square pepperonis!! still crave those!! put some hot sauce on them and bada bing!!


I remember those. Unfortunately I also remember the heartburn they gave me. I also remember how happy I was to get to high school and be able to hit the roach coaches (lunch wagons for people not from NM) that the loacl restaurants sent every day. Remember the deliciousness that was the pizza burrito?



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:51 PM
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I can;t see how they were forced to do anything they have a choice they can eat cold cheese sandwiches(what exactly is a hot cheese sandwich?) or they can starve



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by WisdomInChains
I can;t see how they were forced to do anything they have a choice they can eat cold cheese sandwiches(what exactly is a hot cheese sandwich?) or they can starve


I believe they're called a "grilled" cheese sandwich, if I'm not mistaken.


(additional lines would go here, if I had any)



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by BlackOps719


Link to story







"Every time I eat it, it makes me feel like I want to throw up," the 7-year-old said.



And the kid should do just that... On the parents!

My childs school has the same policy about lunch money. Your child receives a note from the lunchroom telling you they need to bring money. If the child continues to show up at school without money they will be fed cheese sands.

This is not about "poor kids" This is about neglectful parents not sending the lunch money. "POOR KIDS GET FREE LUNCH"!!!!! This is just another media trick.





posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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I remember those. Unfortunately I also remember the heartburn they gave me. I also remember how happy I was to get to high school and be able to hit the roach coaches (lunch wagons for people not from NM) that the loacl restaurants sent every day. Remember the deliciousness that was the pizza burrito?


I so remember, i love roach coach food!! oh the breakfast burritos are out of this world!! Here in NM its the hole in the walls and the roach coaches the supply the best NM food ever! great now i am hungry!! Those pizza's though, man. i was methodical and everything in eating those things. ate them every day until highschool and even then i ate them sometimes. That was back in the days when it was my personal goal to eat a twinky EVERY day!



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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First of all, on a humorous side note, this thread made me hungry for a cheese sandwich so now I am eating one with a glass of milk as I type this post.
Second, I remember my parents forgetting to update my lunch account once so into the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich line I went. You can bet that reminded me to remind my parents.

On a more serious note, this is what mostly disturbs me:


alternative meals to children whose parents are supposed to be able to pay for some or all of their regular meals but fail to pick up the tab.



Critics argue the cold meals are a form of punishment for children whose parents can't afford to pay. Parents who qualify for free meals are not affected.


news.yahoo.com...

It's like the poor children get a free ride, the wealthy are not worried at all about it, but the middle class is kicked in between the legs again. The people who don't qualify for assistance but can't afford it on their own either. They are the ones that really fall through the cracks.

I also didn't agree with this at all:


A cold cheese sandwich, fruit and a milk carton might not seem like much of a meal — but that's what's on the menu for students in New Mexico's largest school district without their lunch money.


That really doesn't sound that bad in all honesty and would certainly fill up the little tummies of elementary school children. As a previous poster said, it is amazing the things us Americans complain about. That is sometimes the amount of food an ADULT will have in some countries in a single DAY (if even that much).

[edit on 2/25/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:18 PM
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reply to post by BlackOps719
 




serving the alternative meals to children whose parents are supposed to be able to pay for some or all of their regular meals but fail to pick up the tab.


Tis not for "poor kids" .. it's for middle class kids who just don't pay for their food..

Poor kids are almost always subsidized by the state, not the district, and have meal plans in place. Basically.. they wouldn't "not have money" because they already get a meal.

These kids are just like.. meh .. mum didn't give me any money, but I want to eat. Well since their parents don't qualify for the meal programs, thus they are not "poor", the kids have to pay.

I went to a private school, when we didn't have money we had to fill out a note basically saying "you owe this much", a yellow card like thing. If your parents didn't pay, it was added to tuition next time it was due. After very angry letters of course.

Wasn't till I got to public schools and saw the "poor kids" (still got the designer clothes, $300 pair of shoes, drove their own car) getting free food that I came to the realization that the Public school system is not so much about Education .. as it is a massive Day Care.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


YUp, what you said.
.. but when hasn't the Middle Class got the shaft? We support the rich and the poor, and no one gives a damn about us.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:27 PM
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I can agree with you guys saying that only in America should we have it so good to complain about free food. And I also agree that a lot of these parents probably are deadbeats and could pay if they wanted to.

Lord knows I have eaten things much worse than a piece of fruit and a cheese sandwich in my day.

I guess when I read the story, like AshleyD I was a little taken back by the punishment angle and the way it seemed as though middle income kids were being pushed out and punished for being the children of working class/working poor parents.

All I could picture while reading this was a 7 year old getting yanked from the lunch line and handed a brown sack containing a government cheese sandwich and forced to sit and eat in shame.

Kids should never suffer for the sins and short comings of the parent.

And if you guys think kids dont pay attention to this kind of thing or do not have the ability to be cruel as a result, I can tell you of many cases where kids were ragged on and humiliated for less.

I knew a kid in middle school who was poor. While all of the other kids were wearing Nikes and Adidas shoes, this one kid made the mistake of coming to school wearing a pair of cheap "Thundercats" shoes, with a Lion-O hologram on the side. That kid got ragged on so hard his folks almost had to take him out of school. All the way up through high school up until graduation he was still often referred to as Thundercat.

And if you dont think stigma like that will carry over into adulthood you are mistaken.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:32 PM
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I carried my lunch to school. All 12 years.
High school had a cafeteria and I think I ate there maybe 2 or 3 times.
Preferred my own stuff.
I don't think people are any poorer these days than they were in my day,
so I don't know why they should get free lunch at all.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:40 PM
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FYI, to the handfull of people in this thread talking about the schools in their area doing this same thing, only with a peanut butter sandwich instead of cheese, that will change soon I'm sure. Many schools have actually banned peanut butter because of a handfull of kids with bad peanut alergies. I've seen stories up here from Vancouver where kids have been suspended for repeatedly bringing PB&J for lunch.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by BlackOps719
I guess when I read the story, like AshleyD I was a little taken back by the punishment angle and the way it seemed as though middle income kids were being pushed out and punished for being the children of working class/working poor parents.


Oh definitely. I certainly agree with you there. I have so many different opinions on this story and there are so many angles to discuss. Sorry I failed to give an opinion on your focus- the children being punished for it.

Again, like I stated above, that happened to me once. Up until High School, I attended a prestigious private school and due to a forgetful lapse on my parent's part, I went into the 'Look at you' line. Not sure why they didn't just add it to the tuition like what happened at Rockpuck's school. But I was six years old I think so a PB&J sandwich was fine with me lol. I think I was mildly embarrassed but nothing that required therapy.


Anyways, it does seem unfair that it is the children that are singled out and punished for it. The thing is, I'm sure the cases differ. In some children's cases you will have the dead beat parents who just don't pay. But I'm positive in some cases it is also what Rockpuck and I mentioned: The parents who are struggling but not enough to qualify for the food program. I found that irritating since the middle class is the backbone of tax paying yet ineligible for the benefits the poor or wealthy receive.

It sucks for sure and my heart does go out to the children who get stuck in the middle of all this nonsense. I just tried to look on the bright side that at least they are receiving food and a meal that doesn't seem to be anything deficient. If they were receiving a slice of bread and a glass of ice water, I'd probably be a lot more angry.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by BlackOps719
 

You're right its not about what kind of food they are fed. It's about the way these children are singled out. You sir seem to know the world around you and view it the way it is.

These children are from working class families. If their parents are laid off its not like that unemployment check is right there in the mail. It takes 3 weeks or longer here in Alabama now to get the first one.

Just think if they had a line for free lunch kids, half price lunch kids, and full price lunch kids. Do you think that would fly?

Children are mean and cruel. They look for the smallest of things about someone to pick on. Trust me they haven't gotten any nicer since I was in school instead they seem all the meaner.

I figure those mean and cruel kids must come from parents of similar mentality.

At my sons school if they forget to send you home a note telling you when the balance is low they call you. If you don't bring up the money before your childs lunch time. You're child goes hungry. Thats stated right in the schools hand book.

Perhaps since the school lunch programs are in such bad shape with the real back bone of America the working class not paying the schools way they should feed everyone cheese sandwiches. Then no one is singled out. Then the poor kids could use those food stamps and bring what they'd like to school to eat. The rich kids whatever they want also.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:05 PM
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I'd have to say that just the FRUIT is pretty amazing. At my high school all you could get were burgers, fries, hash browns, chocolate milk, soda, and poutine. The closest thing we had to fruit was fuzzy peaches.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by BlackOps719
 


You must be kidding. We don't want to stigmatize the kids who are eating free food so we must give them better food?

It is up to the parents to feed their kids. If the parents can't afford it then that is what charity is for. Charity is not mean't to make you feel good about yourself it is meant to help you get by.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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Sounds like a meal to me. Cheese, or peanut butter sandwiches got me from K through 12. They also saw me through the nightshift on factory jobs.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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I don't know if this has been posted already but let's not miss out on the fact that the school is still picking up the bill for parents who can't feed their kids.

The fact is it costs money to feed these kids, and I think it is silly and pansyassed to expect the schools to take the cut because, oh no, we might embarass the kids.

I see this as generous on behalf of the school system, especially since money has become tight period. It's their responsibility to teach the kids, not feed them, so this paying for the poor kids is an act of goodwill.

And IMO a superfluous one, maybe. Consider how much extra money goes through these schools (and taxpayers) paying for their "Free lunch and Breakfast" programs.

BTW--I love cheese sandwhiches, so long as it isn't that processed crap.


Edit: I don't think this is new either, I remember programs like this at least 5 years ago when I was in school. Slightly yellow journalism IMO.

[edit on 25-2-2009 by asmeone2]





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