To the Editor:
I have worked in food services for 27 years, and I’ve seen a lot of kids. I have seen kids come to school on Monday weak from hunger. I fed them so they could go to class because their parents were drinking and using drugs all weekend. I’ve had kids cry because they were hungry. I manage a junior high school cafeteria and, every day, I see kids sent to school with a candy bar or chips (“School-Meals Makeover Stirs the Pot,” April 6, 2011).
Today, everything is about being obese. To some degree it is, but the biggest problem is the parents—not all, but some. I have seen teenage girls throwing up, becoming pale and weak, to keep from being obese. It all breaks my heart.
Parents give the kids money and send them to McDonald’s for their supper so they won’t have to move out of their chair for the rest of the night. This is what makes kids obese ... their parents. They don’t teach them to learn and work for what they want. They are the ones that teach their kids. There are so many kids out there that need food to survive, and they are not getting it at home.
Our cafeteria provides well-balanced meals. These kids need at least one good meal a day to survive. The problem is not in the schools, it’s in the homes. There are thousands of kids who need what we provide. I have seen them for 27 years.
School Cafeteria Manager
A version of this article appeared in the April 27, 2011 edition of Education Week as Fed-Up Food-Services Manager Speaks Out About Parents