Letter, Opinion

Universal school meals pay dividends

Dear Editor,

I am reaching out to express my support for universal school meals in Vermont. I am a recent resident of Middlebury, a longtime former resident of Brandon, and the mother of two children in the public school system.

As a mother and a former student in the public school system, I am aware of how emotionally charged the half-hour that is spent in the school cafeteria during lunch can be. Worry over what to eat — a packed lunch, cafeteria fare, or nothing at all — shouldn’t be added to the list of concerns on a child’s plate during the already busy school day. Lunch expense and stigma around the “lunch line” being reserved for kids from “free and reduced lunch families” should not be added to worries over where to sit, what to say and what to wear.

I have personally observed the way that temporary free breakfast and lunch at my children’s school during Covid has leveled the playing field for kids in the cafeteria. Even kids with packed lunches try out the free lunch options, narrowing the divide in lunchroom behavior. At least during breakfast and lunch on the weekdays, these students’ brains all get a shot at the same injection of nutrition that can help them thrive in their schoolwork, and in the even more important work of social learning.

I support funding universal school meals as an education expense and hope you will help spread the word to support S.100.

Karin S. Mott

One comment on “Universal school meals pay dividends

  1. Karin,
    As a senior citizen that had to go back to work after 18 years of retirement after my husband’s passing to keep up with my expenses, why do you feel I should now pay to feed your children? It seems to me that your generation wants the people of my generation to continue to support you indefinitely. Do you think that is fair?
    The State of Vermont is one of the highest paying welfare states. The taxpayers pay this to help people that can’t afford to feed their families. So don’t you feel that S.100 is double dipping the taxpayers?
    I pay over $5000. in education taxes and feel that is quite enough. I don’t live in an affluent town like Middlebury and as a parent, feeding your children should be your number one priority and responsibility.
    With that said, I do not support this Bill.

Comments are closed.

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