All students in Indianapolis public schools will be entitled to a free breakfast, lunch, and snack every school day beginning this fall. This is because Indianapolis is now participating in the federal program No Kid Hungry along with Boston, Dallas, and Chicago (New York City is also expected to join).
The No Kid Hungry program was launched in 2010 as a means of combating hunger in low-income schools in which 40% or more of the students receive free meals. Should any school meet the requirements, the program is implemented throughout the district. The movement seems to be gaining momentum after a study in Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan came to the unsurprising conclusion that more kids were able to eat meals when they don’t have to pay. This was especially true for breakfast, a vital meal for children.
Lewis Ferebee, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, spoke to the Indianapolis Star earlier this week, stating
Hunger and having a healthy lunch and breakfast should not be a barrier to teaching and learning…It’s our mission to remove every barrier to teaching and learning. I don’t want a stomach growling. I don’t want somebody thinking about lunch or breakfast.
Despite what some individuals that are soulless enough to speak out against feeding hungry kids say, this is not a financial strain at all. Apart from the program being morally common sensical, it has also actually saved money by cutting out the costs of running the application process for free lunches. Plus, there will no longer be outstanding balances on cafeteria accounts that never get paid.
Across the U.S., roughly three out of four teachers say they have students that often come to school hungry. It is time that school administrators and law makers everywhere begin backing initiatives such as this to accomplish the most bipartisan and practical of tasks.