When you make poor kids feel even more stigmatized than they already are, they may not want to participate in the program. Duh. Even if it means going hungry. This makes me very sad. Turns out, if the “free hot lunch kids” have to go in a separate line at school and get separate food, they would rather go hungry.
I have a thing about hungry kids. I don’t like it. I volunteer in a program that is very conscious of making sure the kids don’t feel stigmatized. There are so many ways to do this better. How about making all the food at the school purchased with tickets? (the article suggests debit cards, but it does not have to be that fancy – sheesh).
Non-subsidy eligible kids buy their tickets and kids eligible for hot lunch $ get free tickets. All the kids are eating the same food and paying with the same currency. How they get the currency is invisible. It has to be the same food.
It’s not rocket science, people.