Lunch Money

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by 101dalmatian, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    Feb 7, 2007

    I have a student who no longer receives free breakfast or lunch. If he does not eat breakfast he is upset the entire day, not with a stomach ache but just mad at the world. My TA and I have taken turns putting money on his account for those days he needs breakfast at school.

    Recently he has had only a sandwich for lunch, which his brother in 5th grade makes for him. Sometimes mom will bring in his lunch or lunch money for him. I or another teacher provide a little something more for him when he only has a sandwich.

    I talked to his brother's teacher to see if she was having the same problems. She said yes and that her student hasn't eaten lunch the past two days because "he has too much pride to eat the veggie tray", her words exactly. It just upsets me that she knows this child hasn't been eating lunch for two days and does nothing about it.

    I am going to our social worker tomorrow about the situation. I have no problem providing breakfast or lunch for my student, it may be the only meal(s) he gets each day, but want her to look into the situation for the brother's sake.

    What would you do? Do you buy students lunch if they do not have money?
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2007

    I think going to the social worker is a good first step. I would also buy the student lunch like you said, but you can't do it all the time. Do you keep snacks on hand in the room...?
     
  4. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    Feb 7, 2007

    Yes, I keep snacks in the room but our students eat breakfast in the classroom and he doesn't like to be singled out by having something different. If he doesn't have food or money he is very discrete about letting me know. So I don't mind paying for breakfast.
     
  5. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    I do. I cannot, in good conscience, let these kids be hungry. I'm only an assistant, but I do whatever I need/have to do to assist these kids!
     
  6. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Feb 8, 2007

    When I was in VA, nearly all my kids were new to the middle school and their lunch accounts were not all transferred accurately. The school was insisting a student who I had been told by administration had free lunch needed to pay full price. We fought about it for weeks, but I bought the student lunch the entire time, as the school flat out refused to provide him with a lunch for free.

    It was also pretty clear he wasn't eating breakfast at home, and we often wondered if he ate dinner, so we went ahead and started serving breakfast in my classroom. I had only had six students (self-contained SPED) so it wasn't a big deal, anyone who wanted to eat could.

    So yes. I would buy the student meals.
     
  7. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Feb 8, 2007

    Ok, please bear with me, I want to share a story about when I was in the 3rd grade.

    We had class pen pals with another class. We were going to have a picnic with the other class to meet our pen pals, but I had to move. My then teacher arranged with my parents permission to pick me up so that I could go to meet my pen pal at the picnic. (I know you would never be allowed to do such a thing nowdays) On our way she stopped at a store to pick up a loaf of bread and some jelly and peanutbutter. I was so dumbfounded to think that teachers went to the grocery store!! (I just thought they all lived at school and ate at the cafeteria) I asked her why and she said that she knew that some kids may forget to bring lunch and she didn't want anyone to go hungry.

    I learned something that day. I learned that teachers are very caring people and it realy made me think about being a teacher too. (ok that and that I found out that they get to be the ones in charge of the stickers and red pen!):)
    I've shared a few times that I homeschool, but I also want to mention that I too was on the path of becoming a teacher. (then things happened).
     
  8. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    Feb 8, 2007

    Thank you all for feeding your children. Our job isn't just to stand in front of the room and teach students how to read and write. We are also to teach them life skills and that we care about them. I just am amazed at the teacher I mentioned before that doesn't do anything about her student not eating lunch.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2007

    At our school some of our budget has been set aside to stock bagels, cream cheese, granola bars, juice, applesauce, etc. so that we can provide lunch for those students who don't have any (no cafeteria, students bring their lunches) and all of the classrooms receive a bin of fresh fruit each week. With those students who are "frequent customers", phone calls are made home, and in some cases where students were not receiving breakfast and/or lunch at home on a regular basis, calls to CAS needed to be made.
     
  10. mikekell

    mikekell Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2007

    I would continue to provide the student with bfast and lunch. Like you said, it may be the only meal he gets. I have been teaching in south ga for 18 years and I continue to be amazed at the number of parents who have children and don't take care of them!!!
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Feb 8, 2007

    I didn't see this a lot in my classroom, I did have a few who would lose a little money to cover their lunch, so if the kids ever found money laying on the floor, I'd put it im my desk & use it for those who forgot or lost a nickel, quarter or whatever. They loved the fact it was helping their classmates instead of spending the time to try to figur out whose it was. I know unfortunately this is not your case.

    I did have a student who "forgot" his sack lunch for the field trip...later after giving up my lunch, found out mom sent money to cover lunch & trip to gift shop...oh well.

    I'm glad your caring for your "kids". I know when I taught we'd have snack about an hour after school started, so if those who didn't get bfast for some reason would at least have something to hold them over until lunch!!!
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Feb 8, 2007

    We're not allowed to give our students any type of food, unless we're using it for a lesson (tied to the frameworks). The good thing about our district is the way we have the meal tracker system set up. Students can still eat, if their balance is negative (up to -$5). Once it hits -$5, they have to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (we make exceptions for those with allergies), apple, cookie, and milk.
     
  13. Randy

    Randy New Member

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    Feb 9, 2007

    Wow you are all very caring teachers. I used to keep some snacks in the classroom and if kids did not eat breakfast I would let them have some graham crackers. It seemed once I got them out all the kids wanted some and told me a story about missing breakfast. This is a tough one.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I think the social worker needs to be aware of the problem. School is only 180 days per year. Even if you are providing him with 2 square meals a day on those 180, there's still half a year when he may be going hungry.

    Someone needs to look into what's happening at home.

    In the meantime, you're certainly doing the right thing!!
     
  15. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I don't understand something- why can't the mom be approached to see if they need assistance of some kind?
     
  16. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    You said that the child no longer receives free breakfast or lunch, correct? Wouldn't that mean that the family is now capable of providing enough money to feed the child?

    I think this is a tough one also. On the one hand, I understand making sure that the kids eat...the caring, nurturing side coming out. On the other hand, why can't the mom provide for him? Obviously something has changed for the better (at least financially). Another thing... It costs a lot to feed a child and buy snacks, lunches, etc. I know...I have two growing boys in the school system who often get hot lunch. Although it is cheaper to get hot lunch (and for sure, easier) they do like to have cold lunch with all of the extra little snacks and goodies.

    I know as teachers we want to take all of those little ones home who have a rough home life but, it just isn't possible. I would go to the social worker, as you have said and others have suggested and keep in touch with her on how it is going. Ultimately, s/he and the principal can take care of this issue. Also, as someone had mentioned before, why can't the mom be confronted?

    Please keep us posted and know that we are supporting your decision on how you help this little guy. I understand your position completely but don't get yourself "stuck."
     
  17. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Feb 10, 2007

    Yes, this is a tough call. I teach 2nd, and for the most part, provide snacks to those who forget. Sometimes a parent doesn't want their child having a snack (I have one tubby little guy where this is the case) so be sure to check in with the parents if there is a pattern. My district seems to be spot on with providing those kids who need it free meals. We also have snack milk and juice, and I always let those kids get one if they have nothing (and don't charge their account - shhhh, don't tell!). :) I also see kids sharing their snacks with each other when someone has forgotten one. I have no allergies in my room, so see nothing wrong with this.
     
  18. titansrst

    titansrst Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2007

    Disgraceful

    It is a disgrace that our schools do this to children, because for the most part children who need free meals in September still need free meals in February. Moreover, with the amount of food thrown out by schools daily, I'm sure a free meal or two or 20 will not kill a budget. Lastly, I know in my school the lunch workers regularly take home lots of food (especially on days when chicken patties, salisbury steaks or hamburgers are served) they do not pay for.
    I keep lots of cereal, hot and cold, in my classroom so that every child has a meal in his or her belly as the school day begins. As for lunch, I will do anything I can to make sure every child eats, whether that means cajoling the lunch ladies for a few extra lunches to spending my own money to feed a kid. This doesn't make me a hero or an angel, just a teacher tired of the wrong people being penalized because we adults are too lazy, stupid or uncaring to come up with reasonable solutions to problems.
     
  19. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    Feb 10, 2007

    The family economic situation changed after the holidays. This didn't become a daily thing until we returned from break. Our social worker is now involed and helping to find a solution for the situation. Mom works second or third shift and is asleep when my student and brother get around for school. I think the brother is responsible for my student.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 10, 2007

    In my school we don't really have this problem. It's a state school and they pay breakfast (for any that want or need it), lunches AND snacks! Plus we have a free after school program that also provides snacks. Personally I wish all schools were this way.

    Many missed meals though is a definate sign of neglect.
     
  21. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    Feb 10, 2007

    I teach 4th in a low income school. My school participates in something called "Maryland Meals for Achievement" where every student gets free breakfast everyday. Most of my kids eat breakfast everyday, however quite often I provide money to students for lunches because they should be eligible for free lunch but theyre not receiving it.
    We just got this b-fast program this year and its been great since so many kids come to school with empty stomaches.
     

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