One School's Answer To Poor Kids – Let 'Em Eat…Nothing

If there’s one thing almost universally agreed upon, it’s that children are better little citizens when they have food in their bellies. They perform better in school. Truancy goes down and as anyone who has spent more than five minutes around a hungry kid will attest, non-hungry kids are simply nicer. Of course all that sciency stuff flies out the window when someone is trying to make a profit. In one Massachusetts school it did just that when 25 students were turned away from the lunchroom because they didn’t have the money.

From Boston.com:

As many as 25 students at a Massachusetts school were denied lunch this week because they either could not pay or their pre-paid accounts were short on funds, schools officials and parents said.

Outraged parents say some students at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro cried when they were told by a worker for the district’s food service provider they could not eat on Tuesday.

Not only were children turned away from eating, according to one fifth grader, they were instructed to throw away the food once they got to the checkout.

Of course, the company is now very very sorry.

The on-site director for the company, Whitsons Culinary Group of Islandia, N.Y., was placed on administrative leave by Superintendent Pia Durkin, who has also scheduled a meeting with company officials and ordered cafeteria workers not to deny any child food.

The policy, apparently, is not to let the kids go completely hungry, but to offer the kids with no money on their accounts a vaguely nutritious meal of a cheese sandwich and milk. I guess only the rich kids get broccoli and apples.

Can we now please give up on the idea that privatization of absolutely everything, from libraries to prisons, is a good idea? Making a profit has its place, but not when the cost is humanity.


Wendy Gittleson grew up in a political family. Her passion is for social justice and fairness. She lives in a union household. In her rare downtime, you’ll find her hiking or exploring the shoreline with her dogs. Follow her on her  Facebook page or her blog’s Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson.

Author: The Blue Route

What say you, the people?