Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Yesterday my middle school aged daughter asked me a question. "Why doesn't the school give at least a sandwich to kids who don't have any money in their lunch account?" My answer is that they can't afford it. She tells me that she knows several kids who don't eat more than a couple of times a week. They don't qualify for free or reduced lunch but can't afford it. That fact doesn't surprise me. I live in one of those borderline areas. The working class poor that are America's redshirts. You know how in Star Trek, all the guys in red shirts were expendable? They had jobs, were part of the team, but you knew they were going to die. That's how it is in society. People can have jobs and make too much money to qualify for food stamps or the like but not make enough money to pay rent, utilities and then still buy food.
So I decided that any money raised with my Sorta Birthday 5k will go to fun school lunches for kids who don't have any money in their account. I don't want it to be obvious and embarrassing charity. Middle school kids have enough stress. Just going to deposit it anonymously and ask the principal to say something to the kids like "why aren't you eating today? I checked, you have money in your account." I had 3 older kids go through the district, so I know the staff and administration pretty well and I know that they will help in both identifying kids who are in that forgotten zone as well as making sure they know to access the money.
Not that I am a fan of school lunches. They are awful and my own daughter takes her lunch every day. Despite my opinion on school lunches, no kid should sit there and watch his/her friends eat every day when they have nothing. That thought breaks my heart.