School hot lunch is one of the most important parts of the day
An integral part of the ability for school children to learn, regardless of their given aptitude, is that they be performing those learning tasks while on a full stomach. Nationwide, all k-12 schools serve at least one hot meal a day and offer some kind of reduced price to children who can’t afford the normal daily lunch. This cheaper or free meal is through the National School Lunch Program, which has been serving up low cost or free meals since President Truman put forth the National School Lunch Act in 1946.
There are a few problems with NSLP however: There is a stigma behind it for the children, as they are all too aware of the reduced priced meals relationship with poverty. And two, these federally reduced price or free meals might easily be less nutritious than a la carte items like say salads and other items that might not be covered under a school’s plan. So as well with even a reasonably healthy reduced priced meal, students might even avoid it in general when they can’t really afford to, out of fear of embarrassment.
Cayden Taipalus Raises $25,000+ for hot lunches
One boy recently, 8 year old Cayden Taipalus from Howell Michigan, was disturbed when he saw a peer forced to eat a cold cheese sandwich– a pretty weak meal alternative in 2014. Cayden’s peer had discovered that his meal account was out of funds, and he therefore couldn’t buy the school’s hot lunch. Through the said Federal program, he was given a cheese sandwich. Not even friends with the boy, Cayden was upset along with him, and decided to do something about it.
Cayden has had whirlwind press in the last week, appearing in the news all over the world.
We spoke with Cayden:
I am 8 years old and in 3rd grade.
I started this project because I saw a kid in line have to put down his hot lunch due to lack of funds and get a cheese sandwich. This upset me and the boy.
I started collecting bottles and cans to return, called family, and went to my neighbors. I collected $64 to start.
Why did you feel it was important?
I think everyone should be able to eat hot lunch if they want.
My favorite time at school is gym class cause I love to exercise and play sports.
What would you like to be when you grow up?I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
Im continuing to raise money so I can pay off as many delinquent lunch accounts all over the place and put money on their accounts so they can eat and not worry about it.
I have learned a small thing can go a long ways.
For fun I like to play outside with friends.