As someone who grew up poor, I remember all too well how sometimes my only good meal of the day was one I got at school thanks to the free lunch program. This winter that’s something many poor children can’t take for granted. Among the many other negative consequences of this harsh winter is the fact that snow days mean lower-income kids are missing out on meals they desperately needs. NPR reports:
When bad weather shuts down school or delays its openings, it locks out many needy kids from a key source of nutrition. Some 70 percent of U.S. schoolchildren who eat school lunches get them for free or at reduced prices.
The story goes on to cite this example:
This recently became apparent to school administrators in rural Iowa, where extreme cold delayed openings two days in a row at Laurens-Marathon Community School, where 59 percent of students who eat school lunch qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
On the first day, some students arrived on empty stomachs because parents thought breakfast would still be served that day.
Unfortunately, there’s really no great solution for this problem. It’s a no-win situation: risk making students travel to school in unsafe conditions, or deprive them of the chance to get a good meal.
Image courtesy of npr.org