California launches largest free school lunch program in US

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My boys have this in their school (in New York). It’s great because it removes the stigma of getting a free breakfast/lunch. One of the biggest impactors of student grades is poverty. Specifically, the hunger that can result from parents not being able to afford enough food. A child that is hungry and that doesn’t know when their next meal will be won’t be focusing on their math lesson. However, if the poor kids are the only ones getting a free lunch and it’s obvious that they’re getting lunch for free (either by giving them a “special” lunch like a PB&J or by having them tell the cashier that they get free lunch) then there will be a social stigma attached to it. Everyone will know that THIS is one of those poor kids and from personal experience I can attest that kids will make fun of kids who are different in any way. The poor kids will opt to not eat breakfast and lunch to avoid being teased. This will avoid the teasing, but it will result in them remaining hungry, being unable to excel academically, and being more likely to remain stuck in poverty^1 . Giving everyone a free breakfast/lunch means that the stigma is removed. The poor kids can eat without worrying about being targeted for this and they can focus on learning. ^1 Not that school is a guarantee of breaking out of poverty, but a kid who excels in school has a better chance than one who flunks out because he was too hungry to focus.


Great news. We should have free lunch in every state. If we can leave behind billions in Afghanistan we sure have money to feed the children.