Forward! More schools serve students dinner as demand expands

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A thing of the past?

A thing of the past?

Yahoo: Many of the students at Kingsley Elementary School in a low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles eat breakfast and lunch provided by the school. For the nearly 100 enrolled in the after-school program, another meal is served: supper.
The nation’s second largest school district is doubling the number of students served dinner, with an eye toward eventually offering it at every school. It’s a growing trend: Nationwide, the number of students served dinner or an after-school snack soared to nearly 1 million last year.
“When kids are hungry, they don’t pay attention,” said Bennett Kayser, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District board, which was announcing the expansion Thursday. “This is something that should have started years ago.”
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia began offering students dinner as part of a pilot program expanded to all states after the 2010 passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Schools where at least half the students are low-income and qualify for free or reduced-price lunch are reimbursed for each supper by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at a rate often significantly higher than the cost of the meal.
In the 2014 fiscal year, 104 million suppers were served to students, up from about 19 million in 2009. Participation is still lower than in the nation’s long-running breakfast and lunch programs, which serve more than 12 million and 31 million students, respectively.
The introduction of dinner to school routines is unique in that it could take the place of what many consider a near-sacred ritual: The family dinner.
Proponents say that since many students stay on campus until the early evening hours, it makes sense to provide an additional meal. In the case of the neediest students, they might not get anything to eat after class other than what is offered at school.
Research on family dinners has shown a plethora of benefits: Greater academic achievement, less delinquency, and better family relations. Yet the research also presents a chicken-and-egg type question: Do children reap those benefits because they have dinner with their families, or do the same families that have dinner together display other traits that account for higher achievement?
More recent research indicates while family dinners can be linked to fewer symptoms of depression, most of the other benefits seem to decrease when demographic and other environmental factors are taken into account. At a time when many families have hectic schedules, dinner at school could provide some relief, said Rachel Dunifon, a policy professor at Cornell University. “If these meals help alleviate stress, it could actually be good and open up more time for families,” she said.
LAUSD currently serves supper to 75,000 students and plans to expand the program to about 150,000 over the next two years. School officials estimate it will generate $16.6 million in revenue, which will go toward expanding the program.
Other large, urban districts with dinner programs include Philadelphia and District of Columbia public schools. Wayne Grasela, senior vice president for food services, said the School District of Philadelphia now serves 4,500 dinners each day.
At Kingsley Elementary School, several students said the roasted sunflower seeds, cheese sticks and, depending on the day, sandwiches, salads and chicken they are served function more like a snack than a meal. Some eat another meal at home.
But for others, it’s one of the few things they eat after class. Ten-year-old Evelyn Ruballos said she usually only eats crackers when she gets home. “And then I just go to sleep,” she said.
While I understand the need to feed hungry children, shouldn’t our great economy mean more money for families to buy food? Apparently not:
“The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—AKA food stamps–has topped 46,000,000 for 38th straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). In October 2014, the latest month reported, there were 46,674,364 Americans on food stamps. Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million since September 2011.

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0 responses to “Forward! More schools serve students dinner as demand expands

  1. Reblogged this on The Grey Enigma and commented:
    Who needs parents, families and freinds anyway. WE have The State!
    All of your kids are belong to us now comrades!!

  2. At the risk of sounding heartless, where is the welfare check being spent if obviously not on food? Perhaps soon these schools can start washing clothes for these children at school and then possibly we will just house poor children at school and the parents will not have to worry about watching their kids anymore either. Having children is a responsibility that too many just don’t take seriously. To them each subsequent child is equal to a pay raise on their welfare check. There are ways to cook to make money go further, many of us learned that through hard times. The depression era people know this technique cold, so why can’t welfare recipients learn it? Prepackaged foods that seem to fill the shopping carts of these people are expensive and do not go far. Cooking from scratch helps stretch a dollar a lot further plus it’s a healthier way to eat. Maybe the money would be better spent teaching these people how to shop and cook more cost conscious. They will keep leaning into the system for more and more if something isn’t done to force personal responsibility onto them.

    • Not heartless at all, the tax payers should be asking where the money goes. There’s a variety store at the end of my street which is 3-5 blocks from a number of almost 100% negro Hispanic public housing projects. The store owner told me once that they spend their welfare checks on lottery scratch tickets, cigarettes, junk food and booze. There were a couple of articles I read last year that showed people using their ebt cards and welfare on strip bars, porn, tattoos and pimping their rides

      • That’s just horrible!! It really makes me ticked off. Most of us don’t but the junk the welfare recipients do. I know a lot if people that quit smoking and one reason was the cost and yet the people on the doles can still afford to smoke.

    • These Welfare recipients can’t cook,because,”um,not everything can be microwaved,and um,we don’t actually WORK,but we’re too BUSY to cook,and um,the kids don’t LIKE anything but Mickey D’s chicken nuggets,and,um,we can’t AFFORD regular food because buying THAT stuff means we can’t pay our Satellite TV bill,so the FREE meals really help us a lot;now we can even afford Pay-Per-View!

  3. For the schools this is about Federal money in excess of the cost — for the Feds it is about more control.

  4. The comments so far have nailed it — gov’t control, more money for the schools (although I am sure they will tell you it does not cover the cost, but when did any gov’t program ever cover all the costs?), and more dependance on gov’t funding. We are doomed.
    I quit giving to food banks years ago. I am so glad you asked why. I was told by the people in charge not to donate anything that had to be cooked/fixed/prepared, because the people accepting the donations simply would not bother with it. (I have since been told that food banks will not accept canned food unless it has a flip-tab top, how lazy can you get) At the time my families staple food was cornbread (from scratch) and beans n’ ham (from scratch), I said enough is enough. If you can’t bake cornbread with a Jiffy mix and cook beans ‘n ham, as far as I am concerned you don’t need to eat. Food banks, instead of giving people instant food, should be giving people food they have to prepare and making sure they know how. As far as school meals go, I would like to see these prepared through the food banks thus getting the schools completely out of the food business. First, I believe that children should be taking their lunches. Many generations before took their lunch and many school children still do. Secondly, if those using the food bank had to go pick up x’ number of meals for a week, every week, during the school year, this would centralize the food distribution and someone would know if the food was going to the children or if ma and pa were selling it for drugs, etc. There are several communities that have quit the Buddy Pack program because they found out the children we taking it home and not getting the food over the weekend. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish he gets one meal, teach him to fish he can provide for himself.”
    By they way, we were in Wal-Mart yesterday (this is unusual because we very seldom shop Wally World) and got behind two people paying for a TV/Sound system in cash. The total was just shy of $1,000. We agreed that the cash was from purchasing groceries and getting back change a little at a time over the coarse of many months. They will always always find ways to beat the system.

    • What you say is interesting, I used to give regularly to a local food bank, but have not recently. A few have told me that the newer demographic African/Hispanic courtesy of barak Lucifer Obama’s cultural enrichment program. But anyway the bank use to also request gift cards from local markets. I used to donate a dozen 25$ gift cars a couple of times a year plus some non perishables.
      Now they prefer not to give gift cards because the recipients were selling them for drug and booze money. There is a very different class of poor from when I was a kid and I cam from a lower middle class blue collar household.
      Mom could literally make a banquet from tuna, hamburg or whatever we had one hand, plus during the Summer everyone on my street had victory gardens. Now in the progressive 21st century gratitude and thanks are becoming unknown dirty words and concepts, “you dirty crakkas owe us big time. gibs me gibs me!”

      • I know what you mean. My mother was forty-two when I was born in 1950, the youngest of four. My Dad farmed. My parents had come through the depression. We worked and raised almost all of our food. At the time, the trend was to buy everything you could. We were considered the “poor white-trash”, I suppose for one reason we had no indoor plumbing. My parents did not get that until the early ’80’s. Now how I was raised would be considered the “in-thing” because we were all organic and the food was fresh. We raised our own beef, pork and chicken plus fresh eggs. As you say, my mother could make a feast out of home-canned stewed tomatoes and fresh baked bread. She baked three loafs every other day for years and years. We were also looked down on because my father knew all about the federal reserve, the bankers, the CFR, Trilateral commission, etc. The neighbors thought he was the crazy old man of the neighberhood. My revenge is now, every so often someone will come up to me and tell me that my father was right on. My family moved to the farm I was raised on after I retired from the “corporate world.” I fear for what is to come because I know that the large majority will not be able to begin to handle food storages, etc. May the Lord come quickly!

        • I try to feed my family as much organic, fresh, and wholesome food as possible. I believe how and what you eat plays a big part in who you become…..I think these liberals must have been raised on a poor diet.

  5. It’s free, of course…

    • slaves to the system. heartbreaking to watch people degrade themselves and raise generations of children with the same, ‘it’s free’, gubmint mentality. I couldn’t watch the whole video….seeing the baby shower cake, pregnant women gyrating, and people simulating sex was more than enough for me to stomach. People, like the ones in this video, are popularizing and promoting this morally and financially bankrupt mentality and behavior are part of why this country is spiraling downwards.

  6. I once worked for a state department of health and learned that food stamp income is based on three meals per day per household member. When schools supply meals to the children, it is not factored into the equation. Now with three meals per day five days a week supplied by the school, there will be excess SNAP funds…and that will only lead to bad things.

    • I’m trying to figure out how they think my 70 year old Sister can squeeze 3 meals a day out of $41.00/month. Kinda peeves me that there are people in America living on less than 10K per year,while people like those in the videos are cashing in on benefits even 5those who really need ’em can’t “qualify” for. My Disability pays about 12K/year,two thirds of which is my house payment. How are THEY doin’ it?

      • Many people don’t disclose all assets. And if they don’t work (thereby qualifying for more benes) they receive Section 8 housing, gas vouchers, etc. You can receive more if you have less (i.e., choose to not work at all).

      • They just know how to work the system. My step niece, her husband and four children have lived on welfare for the last thirty years this way. Her husband and his family have always lived this way. He always has money for cigs and beer and pickups. It also depends on what area you are in and the color of your skin. Yes, that is racist but true. DFS, in the large metro town we used to live in when I worked in the corporate world, actually told my husband and I one time that they actively recruited people from the large metro areas on both sides of the state because they had all these benefits and needed to hand them out. The town we lived in was known for its educated populace and wealth from banks and insurance companies.
        On the other hand I have known those who tried and tried to obtain some assistance and were always turned down. We could not even get in home care for my mother and father in their later years because they were simply not in the welfare system. Lest you think this is new it is not. When I was in my twenties and wanted to attend college full time, I was turned down for financial aid because I had no dependents. I made this statement to the financial aid officer: “In other words what you are telling me is that since I have no out-of-wedlock children, I cannot obtain financial aid!” He said yes, that was the reason.

      • So sorry to hear we have money to help those who really need it and it does not go to them !
        The secrets of welfare queen’s success are passed down from generation to generation – that is the sad truth. No one will say it!
        This is the truth–I learned this from the nurses I worked with at a state dept. of health—it became known that if a single mom says she was raped, they do not go after the child’s father for support. Since in certain communities they never make the father responsible for helping out, it was passed around that when you go to get governmental support, you should say you were raped. Then you will NEVER be questioned about anything and given even more support from the government. So it came to be that so many women were saying they were raped so they could get more. This is sad but true.

  7. Where are the parents? The only reason schools served breakfast was because parents were dropping their kids off before school started. The only reason schools serve dinner is because parents are leaving their children at school past school closing (and so late, they are there past dinner time). It seems to me children are at school longer than they are at home. Their primary residence is school. The way things are going, the schools are going to start using cots so that the children who stay after school can sleep there as well. I see the trend of this growing nanny state. All in all it means children are becoming property of the state and parents are vacating their responsibilities to their children so they can work or party or whatever. It is very sad that parents today don’t see the destruction they are causing their own children by their chronic absence. The record high usage of food stamps has helped to drive up the cost of food; everything is expensive today. I understand people must work. I also understand the more people want things, the more people must work. We are a nation of coveters, our country has not changed from producers to consumers for nothing. The less we have Jesus involved in our daily lives, the more we want things to fill that infinite void in our souls.
    Traditional values worked for a reason. Saving oneself for marriage and securing one’s education and then employment was fruitful for the family because the mother could stay home and the father worked….it was planned out and responsible. It benefited family and society when people put family (instead of themselves) first. The family was content with what the family had because they had Christ. The father would come home and spend time with family (esp at dinner with devotions). Now, having a family is a toss in the air. Everyone’s having sex and producing babies, but no one is home to care, love, educate, and raise them. The concept of family was put on the back burner in the 60s after the advent of the birth control pill (thanks to Sanger….ms. planned parenthood) and encouragement of sex and doing for self. The 60s also produced civil rights and women’s rights and with that, the entitlement mindset, and later divide and conquer using entitlements.
    Here we are, 5 decades later, and we have videos glorifying government handouts (puppets of the government mindset), sex, alcohol, drugs, ignorance, acceptance of sodomite behavior, schools raising children (with values the government wants, not the parents) because they have them from early morning to evening time, schools requiring poisonous vaccinations and feeding children nutrient-depleted GMO “foods”. Five decades of government change have resulted in the sacrifice of children….the most vulnerable in our country (their emotions, physical, mental, and spiritual health, no place to truly call home because they are hardly ever there, ‘home is where the heart is’ has become empty). The adults run rampant doing as they please as long as it pleases them and children raise themselves. Father and mother are supposed to be the strength of the family unit and provide protection, love, and nourish the mind, body, and soul of the child. When parents relinquish their responsibilities to the government, the results will be a new generation of children who grow into pro-government handouts with no values or understanding of Christ and love or respect of others and extreme anger for feeling unloved and being un-parented….i.e. sociopaths. The family unit has been deconstructed and the ‘new family’ has been reconstructed into an abstract of immorality and hopelessness. If we think today’s youth are bad, just wait…..

  8. I am so behind the times. I just recently found out that schools here in OK serve lunch (possibly breakfast as well) during the summer! I would be so embarrassed, but again, I am not in sync with the times!

    • Yep, in CA same here…in my county during last summer they were serving any child who walked in off the street. Didn’t matter whether they attended the school or not.

  9. Breakfast, lunch & dinner paid for by taxpayers! No wonder the Communist Party USA endorsed the POS and the Democrats in 2012.

  10. And now there are movements across the country to provide low income moms with diapers. Government sponsored daycare, diapers, food, housing, it just goes on and on.
    Cradle to Grave Nanny State

  11. Why don’t they make the WORKING people vote for all these benefits? All these hardcore usurpers should be required to provide SOMETHING in exchange for all the goodies. (Workfare)

  12. At the 1500 population middle school where I teach, there used to be 50% free breakfast/lunch. That was bad enough…but today….it’s over 75%. I know these statistics well b/c I apply/write grants for our school for projects I would like to do w/our kids…you have to report accurate Federal statistics on applications at the front end….even if it’s only a 50-buck grant for seeds for a “community science garden.” We do NOT live in an inner city ghetto. We live in a “small town” (as CA goes) in a small business/rural farming/ commuter community almost equi-distant from San Diego/Los Angeles. Most of our kids live in what appears to be solid middle-class single-unit homes, built within the last 20-30 years or less. In fact, a third of our kids live in a relatively “posh” newly-built large-home community within our attendance area (Community pool, jogging paths, outdoor exercise areas/regimen set-up….) There are a few mulitple-unit appartments on the edges of our attendance area…& these are NOT “ghetto” grade…but new, well-cared-for, modern, recently built—NOT “government subsidy homes.
    Additionally, our school operates a state and Fedrally-funded after-school “Think Together” program (where they get another snack-like meal) where these kids stay until 6 P M. ( Our classes start at 7:30 AM here…free breakfast kids arrive starting 6 AM, & gates open 6:30 AM. Parents pull up in their new Lexus SUV’s to drop them off. I keep asking myself “What’s wrong with this picture??????” Free food, free baby-sitting and “homework” supervision….just WHEN do the parents themselves have to step up and provide SOMETHING beyond a roof for approximately 4 hours (theoretically, the other 8 hours, the kid is asleep)? Almost exactly 75% of the child’s waking hours per day and 100% of the food in my teaching boundaries are supplied by “the government” (YOU, the TAX PAYER).
    AND, good people, did you know that, legally, the kids who qualify for free breakfast and lunches can demand/expect these free meals throughout the summers or breaks when school is not in session? We must designate a central distribution point during these times and hours…and the parents and kids can come to collect their free food for both meals (usually pre-packed for them in free backpacks) each day that school is not in session. This is a part of the Federal law…..


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