Posted in Grateful for

Grateful for food.

Today for lunch I enjoyed a treat, a pre-made salad. I was perfectly content nibbling on my salad and watching a movie. I went back to work, (I’m a lunch supervisor at an elementary school.) Where on the third day of school I found three children who were brave enough to tell me they didn’t have any lunch.

Yes, some little kids say that and mean that they don’t like what was sent in their lunch but these kids really didn’t have any lunch. Sadly I knew that the pattern from last year hadn’t changed. They had a little bit of food…I’m sure their parents sent what they could afford .. but most days these kids eat that little bit during first break.¬†Unfortunately the breakfast club has not started yet so I couldn’t grab food from them for these guys.

It breaks my heart to see the kids honestly hungry. I try to observe who has what in their lunches so I can spot who needs our help. Not all kids are brave enough to ask us for food.

I am so grateful that I can have that pre-made salad and send lots of food with my kids to school. (and add a couple extras to my cart..to fill in the gap before breakfast club.)

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Author:

Canadian, Mom, Wife, Sister, Aunt

8 thoughts on “Grateful for food.

  1. When I realized Canadian schools didn’t offer warm lunch I was shocked because I have worked for so many years at different Latvian high schools before I relocated to Canada in 2004, and any school in any municipality rich or poor would always have lunch at school waiting for students from kindergarten to Universities and institutes, from colleges to elementary schools and high schools.
    It is organized very simply and very efficiently. Countryside schools have orchards and gardens and students participate in growing and harvesting vegetables and fruits, they also help preserving them for winter during life skills classes and everybody works at school garden for 3 days during the summer brake which is longer over there, almost 3 months. Higher grades go to help harvest vegetables and potatoes and are paid for their help having good quality vegetables all winter long. Every kid from grade 6 and higher helps in kitchen approximately once in two months. We usually had fairly large schools, smallest were 500-600 kids, and I usually worked in schools with 1200-1500 kids which are organized as shifts for higher grades.
    Children from families which cannot afford to pay the weekly amount are sponsored, and nobody ever goes hungry. In some countries, like Estonia, government covers all expenses and every students receives free lunch. It is very essential to realize that eating right and eating good quality food is really important, plus parents have one headache less.
    That food was extremely tasty, all teachers also used to eat there, I could even ask the school cook to pack up for me some food while I lived alone and it was so good, I still remember the fantastic beet soup one school used to offer.
    Soft drinks and fast foods are all prohibited in the vicinity of school, not to mention inside. Before the borders were opened in 1991 and junk imported food as required by European Union started to flow in, we had practically no obese kids, very few would qualify as slight overweight. I think this is the biggest drawback of Canadian school system because every kid and teen and young adult deserves to find out what a good food is, so that they know in their future life what to stick to.
    Some families have really bad eating habits and very sedentary lifestyle, that’s where all health problems originate from.
    That is certainly bad. I saw on TV what they showed to put in that lunch, and I though it looked so unattractive that I’d never eat that. It is dry, it is cold food, more like a light snack and some kids have to go all day on that. I can only regret that Canadian kids cannot have the same what Europe takes care of.

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    1. Thank you! I wish that we would offer what you just described! If nothing else learning the skills of preparing food is important. My daughter took a “foods” class in high school. I was shocked at how many teens did not know the basics of cooking.

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  2. Cutbacks have affected our schools and what is more important than a child and their education? I lucked out working abroad where kids at our school didn’t go hungry.
    My thought though is if there is a breakfast program why is it not in place yet? If kids need and use it then it should start from day 1. It pains me to think all summer those kids maybe went hungry and they rely on the school… so it would be most important now than ever. The idea above with the sustainable school with lunches is awesome. I used to cook a lot when I worked in daycare in a low income area. The kids were fascinated and learned some valuable lessons while getting their bellies fed. Come to think of it, in daycare the law was kids needed to have 75% (or there abouts) of their daily food intake because they may not get it at home. This wasn’t just low income schools, but part of the Day Nurseries Act, our governing body. SO why is it that the education act (that governs schools) doesn’t have something like that in place?

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  3. This is something I am also grateful for. The one school I worked at in Toronto (an inner city school) has a snack programme. If a teacher notices a child comes from a family that cannot afford to buy food, she dicreetly tells the nutritionis and she organises lunch for them. It is done discreetly as the parents are often too proud to accept what they may see as charity.

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