Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Man, this takes me back.
A little background first: I am living in the same street that I grew up in 20-odd years ago. I moved away and came back to raise my son close to my parents. So I have a really good knowledge of this area, and about projects that have been tried in this area going back quite a ways.
So, in the 80's there was this push to ensure that school kids got the right start to the day by having a decent breakfast. In under-privileged areas breakfast just wasn't happening in many families. So the govt. stepped in and started having breakfast clubs at schools, giving the local kids access to some cereal and some fruit.

When I am asked to consider the food issue close to my area, the truth is we are a relatively well-off place. We are under-privileged only by Australian standards. In terms of international standards, we are so well off it is sort of embarrassing. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve the situation for the lowest rungs of the ladder.

I'm lucky because I live across the road from the school. The main entry gate is across from my drive-way. I don't see a wh*** lot of early arrivals. I wonder if the program still operates, or if it has been slowly eroded or canned altogether. It doesn't lessen the value of it as an idea.

If not this school, then maybe other schools can or are benefiting from a similar program. Maybe it isn't breakfast - maybe it's a lunch program. Maybe it's something inspired by Jamie Oliver's experiment.

Anyway, my point is this: the hunger issue in a comparatively wealthy society may not be so obvious. It might be a hidden hunger - a hunger that looks like it's being fed because it's ok some of the time. Or it gets some food (though not nutritious). Or it overlooks one of the most important meals of the day because it's difficult to get consistently good food happening when everyone is flying out the door to work and school and it's just not a priority.

So let's make it a priority: Good food for children. No hidden hunger. No making do just because there is worse. Let's not make average acceptable - let's aim high.

Just because dinner is taken care of, doesn't mean we can't try to improve breakfast and lunch.

Views: 9

Comment by Nicole Catanese-Wilkinson on March 11, 2010 at 4:05am
I know we have that same program here in the US. It still is going on for us, my son even participates in it. it isn't something that is only for the Low-income families as other students who do not qualify for assistance can pay $1.00 for breakfast.

I agree with a lot of what you said here, well said.
Comment by Nathaniel Fruchter on March 11, 2010 at 4:11am
A well said and well written post. I feel you're totally spot on with "hidden hunger"—a much more eloquent way to express what I've been trying to say all throughout my post. We can't really tackle food security if we don't have our own security down.

Comment by Melissa Macey on March 11, 2010 at 4:12am
Thanks Nicole - I thought the US schools might have something similar, but I had no real knowledge of what it might entail - thanks for the insight. $1 seems like a bargain!


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