The impact of hunger on achievement, & addressing lunch-shaming

 //  Oct 4, 2017

The impact of hunger on achievement, & addressing lunch-shaming

Below are a few education stories I've bookmarked recently.

Last week we published "When Hunger Is an Equity Issue," from Andy Kubas, Executive Director of Learning Supports in Bloomington, MN. As an elementary school principal some years earlier, Andy had discovered through talking with a student, that the student's behavioral problems were largely connected to hunger. He then created a food pantry in his school, working with families and community partners to address this major barrier to learning.

Related: NPR took a look at new research on the possible connection between food stamp administration schedule and academic performance. In short, researchers "find that children who come from families that are several weeks removed from receiving their food-stamp benefits perform worse on an important math exam."

New York City announced at the beginning of the school year that all NYC schoolchildren now have access to free lunch. This move was in response to the increased attention that the practice of "lunch shaming" is receiving nationwide. Kei-Sygh Thomas at The 74 looks at New York City and other states' responses.

A different approach: District Administration shared a local news story about a Columbia, MO school district that plans to "go after" parents who don't pay for their children's school lunch. (Possible solutions include small claims court.) The school board president: "When it first caught our attention, we started to think about ways to maybe punish the kids if you would, to try to get them to start paying or parents to start paying, and then some community members spoke up and said, 'We shouldn't be punishing the kids, you should be punishing the parents that are not paying.'"