Effie Craven is the State Advocacy and Public Policy Director for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
Imagine you are a child waiting in the school lunch line with your friends. You laugh and joke as you move through the line and get your trays, enjoying the break from class. But when you get to the cashier and scan your meal card, there is not enough money for your lunch. Your tray is taken from you – your hot meal is thrown away and replaced by a cheese sandwich as your classmates look on.
Practices like this, known as lunch shaming, are all too common in schools. And these practices are emotionally damaging to children, who have no control over their family’s financial situation and are often facing food insecurity at home as well. One in four Oklahoma children has inconsistent access to adequate, healthy food. The National School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs provide critical nutrition support to more than 425,000 Oklahoma children every year, but many students are either not eligible or not enrolled in the free and reduced price school meals programs.
continue reading Lunch shaming is real – but we can end it (Guest Post: Effie Craven)