Radio hosts join fight against lunch shaming
May 10, 2017 06:57 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- From wearing wristbands or hand stamps to doing extra chores, students nationwide have experienced what it's like to not be able to pay for lunch. It's called lunch shaming.
Congress is now taking steps to end that. New Mexico led the country by passing something similar earlier this year.
That's why schools in New Mexico give out courtesy meals when a student can't pay for his or her lunch. But the cost of those courtesy meals can add up, so some local radio hosts decided to put together a fundraiser to help pay for it.
Usually, you'll find LB Johnson and Robert Gipson promoting an event or hosting their local radio show. On Monday, they served lunch at Sunset View Elementary School.
“Growing up I remember going to school and not being able to you know not having money for lunch,” Johnson said. “So we had to do the whole you know whether you're mopping or cleaning up doing things like that.”
It’s a form of lunch shaming that can lead to bullying. He says sometimes parents simply forgot about signing paperwork that would affect lunches at school.
“Shouldn't worry about money,” Gipson said about children going to school. “All you should worry about is coming in, eat, and socialize with your friends.”
“We need to make sure this isn't happening,” added Johnson. “If we can do a little part to make sure one more kid isn't bullied then you know by making sure everyone has a meal.”
APS serves about 45,000 lunches a day, and that's not including breakfast, snacks or even dinner.
“If students can't pay for his lunch, then we give him a courtesy meal and they're still given a lunch that day,” said Geri Garcia, the APS Food and Nutrition Area Manager.
That cost adds up. She said district-wide APS’ lunch debt is $38,000.
“For the kids that don't have the money and can't afford to eat, it's like literally, they're starving,” Johnson said. “We're still expecting them to excel and still be successful in school. It's like we're setting them up for failure.”
That is why they're putting together a fundraiser to help pay off that debt.
“If we're going to be a community, we have to give to parents who don't have,” Gipson said.
The event is this Thursday at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Central. There will be a comedy show, musicians, and prizes to raffle off. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2017 06:57 AM
Created: May 09, 2017 06:02 PM
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