From northern California to southwest Virginia I’ve been visiting schools during my travels these past few weeks. There is something new to be learned every time.
At Prescott Elementary School in Oakland, CA, a school food service official shared that many more kids eat school breakfast on Monday morning compared to other days of the week … because they haven’t eaten over the weekend. Yet another way of understanding how some kids struggle, it also underscores the inequality that defines two very different America’s. In one America the weekend is too short to do all of the things we want to do, whether seeing friends, watching sports or trying new restaurants. And come Monday morning our kids will eat the same way as they do every other day of the week. No distinction would ever occur to us. In the other America, Monday morning’s routine is markedly different. That America’s kids will turn out for school meals in greater numbers than usual. In that harsher America the weekend is too long.
This makes all the more important the hard fought victories we obtain, each of which lays the groundwork for the next. Maryland for example has been one of the states in which we committed to achieve “proof of concept” by investing heavily to ensure full participation of eligible kids in programs like school breakfast and summer meals. For a variety of complicated reasons Baltimore City Schools lagged behind other parts of the state. Until last week. On Wednesday, Baltimore City and our Maryland No Kid Hungry campaign announced that all Baltimore schools will move breakfast from the cafeteria to our Grab-And-Go model making breakfast accessible to 83,000 students! More details are available from the Fox News report @ http://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/mobile-carts-with-easy-pre-packaged-foods-in-city-schools-will-encourage-students-to
This kind of systemic change helps even the playing fields for children who suffer the most from the inequality that still divides us. It’s just one of many steps needed to make Monday morning like every other morning of the week.