By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 11:21 am in Kids & Tweens.
Associated Press has a hot story this morning on cold cheese sandwiches. Seems Albuquerque, NM, schools are giving students whose parents are behind on their hot school lunch payments brown bags with sandwiches, fruit and a carton of milk instead of whatever the lunch ladies are serving. “Critics argue the cold meals are a form of punishment for children whose parents can’t afford to pay,” the story says. Big uproar.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m afraid I don’t get the controversy. Granted, I’m a big fan of cheese sandwiches. I grew up brownbagging it and my kids do too — and a cheese, ham or PBJ sandwich, fruit and milk is a perfectly lovely little lunch. When I was growing up, kids who forgot their lunch money went hungry or “borrowed” an apple from a friend, and kids whose parents couldn’t or didn’t want to shell out hot lunch money, brought a sandwich. Even now in my town, teachers keep a stash of granola bars and apples for any kid who frequently “forgets” his lunch and discreetly gets the parents an application for the free lunch program. So how does supplying children, whose parents are in lunch money arrears, with a free, perfectly suitable alternative qualify as offensive? Go on, click “comments” and educate me.