The Michigan public school system provides eligible students with free and reduced price meal options. Eligibility is based off of federal income poverty guidelines and are stated by household size (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/03/23/2016-06463/child-nutrition-programs-income-eligibility-guidelines). While this can be a great resource for students and families in need, non-school hours and breaks prove to be an issue.
In order to address this dilemma, Traverse City West high school established a school food pantry as a way of addressing students' hunger needs during non-school hours (http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/michigan_high_school_establishes_school_food_pantry). After discovering in 2014 that approximately 30% of Traverse City West students were eligible for free or reduced price meals, the school decided to take action. The pantry consists of snacks, frozen foods, prepared meals, and more. The pantry is operated by the class councils and is supplied by donations from the community and local businesses.
Some questions to consider:
While this initiative has been successful at Traverse City West high school, do you think that this is a sustainable solution considering that it relies on donations?
Is it a feasible idea that public school funding could be allocated toward a program like this?
What are some other ways to address child and youth hunger during non-school hours and breaks?