Friday, September 8, 2017

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch - Or Is There?

I'm real happy the NYCDOE has decided to offer every child a free lunch. As a classroom teacher it always seemed crazy to send home those forms for parents to fill out when almost every kid was entitled. And no one was checking to see if someone was lying. I do remember a few kids who were supposed to bring in money to pay every week and that became such a drag the schools just began to ignore it. Someone in the school had to deal with all the paper work involved and there were just not enough resources to do that -- often a school aide ended up doing it.

So this is a not only a rational progressive move but also a real time saver for schools and the system administratively.

I just heard on The Takeaway that 75% of NYC kids are entitled to free lunch even if a third of them don't eat it. There was talk of shaming and how kids felt eating the school lunch was degrading. Maybe in schools where there are significant numbers of people who come from incomes high enough - in my school even teachers tried to scam a free lunch even though we were required to pay for them technically. When we were on lunchroom duty we felt we were entitled -
Joey Chestnut - get rid of those dogs and go for beef patties
How many Jamaican beef patties can you eat in 50 minutes? I was the Joey Chestnut of the school lunchroom.


  1. This used to be embarrassing, but now we embrace it. NYC is the haves and the have nots, there is no more middle class with any pride. I have heard kids make fun of people for paying for food, kids feel entitled, its out of control. I think the better lesson is to charge what they can afford. I don't care if its 10 cents a day.

    1. I have a good job for you - be the one who collects the money, tracks it, does the paperwork etc. We can hire 1800 people to do the work.


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