Letter to the editor: There are better ways to handle lunch money issueMy grandson was upset and said he was embarrassed because he had chosen snacks to add to his meal at school and the lunch attendant had made him put his snacks back because he did not have enough money and actually had fell into arrears on the lunch program.
My grandson was upset and said he was embarrassed because he had chosen snacks to add to his meal at school and the lunch attendant had made him put his snacks back because he did not have enough money and actually had fell into arrears on the lunch program.
Now I am sorry, but to embarrass a child over snacks is not “the American way.” his mother did not get a call, nor had I, who also left my number with the lunch program so that we could have placed money on his account to eliminate his humiliation. My main point is that menus set are not for everyone and if a child makes a choice to eat something different or in the way of a snack until he or she gets home who are we to say “No!” Are we “forced” to eat what we don’t like?
We pay these attendants and program directors to be the responsible people to keep the books and complete the task of sending out reminders either by phone call, mail or emails to let families know when the lunch program needs to be addressed at the school in order not to have embarrassing moments such as this for the child who is hungry. A better choice of handling this situation with my grandson and many others I am sure, would have been to whisper to him to have his parent call the lunch program right away or simply hand him a note and ask him to make sure his parent gets it right after school and put in place a follow-up call to the parents themselves. Those would have been better choices for the lunch program staff rather than make a child embarrass himself by placing items back.
My heart goes out to all of those other children who have had to face the same embarrassment or have to miss out on the opportunity to upsize their meals or have a favorite treat because they don’t have the extra monies on their account and probably have never said anything at home, as we all know some children don’t speak out! I have asked the school lunch program director about this concern and she did say that although it is not fair it is a rule. I have in the past reported an incident that involved older children going through and demanding younger children to give them snacks, which caused bullying episodes because they were hungry.
My suggestion to all of you parents and grandparents, take the time to get involved in your child’s lunch program. A child’s mind is an active little fire and needs fuel to grow.