Parents at Blackburn elementary have started a healthy food program in response to hungry kids.
Randi Dery started volunteering in her boy’s classroom last year, when she started noticing some students consistently weren’t eating lunch.
“I was seeing that more and more kids were coming to school with no food,” said Dery, mother to seven-year-old Kaleb and six-year-old Brody.
“Hungry kids is angry kids. They disrupt the class and it’s a snowball effect,” said Dery, who was volunteering because her son’s class was “very high maintenance.”
So she spent the summer planning, and by September had the program in place.
It’s called Let’s Eat and twice a week Dery fills a basket of fresh food – fruit, juice boxes, fig bars – in each of the 10 classrooms.
It’s important to Dery that the food be in the rooms and available to everyone, unlike some food programs where kids go to the office to get a meal.
“That’s not fair. They shouldn’t have to put their hand up and say ‘I’m hungry, can I go get food?’ because there’s shame involved,” she said. “They don’t want to say they’re hungry. I just think it’s important not to put a spotlight on those kids.”
She estimated it costs about $60 a month to sustain the program.