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Free school lunch WWYD?


WWYD free lunch  

105 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you take the free lunches?

    • Yes, it’s fine.
      101
    • No, I wouldn’t feel that it was okay.
      4


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I don’t know. I’m crowdsourcing opinions.

i have two homeschooled kids and one who is doing virtual school since his school is closed. He attends an out of district special needs school. Technically none of my kids are enrolled in my school district then.

The school just announced they are delivering 7 days of lunches to any child who lives in the district and signs up, whether the child is enrolled or not and regardless of income. Right now the district is fully virtual.  Therefore my kids could qualify.

Here’s my dilemma:

I want to sign the kids up. I am exhausted and severely depressed. It’s been diagnosed as post-Covid major depression, probably due to brain inflammation. I don’t want to publicly give details but frankly—I would now qualify for inpatient crisis stabilization if I went to the ER. I am still dealing with Covid fatigue, but I’ve gone back to work and am homeschooling and finishing my master’s degree. All this to say: I am not in a good place and having easy to make lunches delivered would be amazing. It would also make sure I am feeding the kids a well rounded nutritious lunch, because I have zero appetite and am not eating much, so sometimes I forget it’s lunch time and then scramble to make something.

But. We are financially well off right now, thanks to my husband’s construction company that’s taken off.  I can afford to buy lunchables and toaster waffles that the kids can make themselves. I could even afford to eat lunch out every day, though we are trying to save money because I expect I will need to take a leave of absence from work if this depression/anxiety doesn’t stop soon.

My kids are not enrolled in the district. It feels like taking something I don’t need and should go to people who do need it—though the grant is overfunded and why they’re giving it to any child.

So I don’t know. I want to, but I feel like I’m stealing almost. We wouldn’t ever qualify for free lunch and my kids aren’t enrolled in the district; but it would help me so much. 
 

edit: I just looked on the school’s website and it’s not just lunch, but seven days of breakfast for each child too.  

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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Just now, cintinative said:

Is there a middleground somewhere, like taking the lunches and donating to a charity that provides meals to school children??

Is there a charity like that? I could look. This is a state funded grant. I suspect it is based on last year’s school population and they’ve lost 30% to actual homeschooling this year, so there’s fewer students enrolled than the grant is intended for.

I could definitely increase my donation to the local charity that provides toys for Christmas in my county. I know the need is high and funds are low this year.

This is a good idea.

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7 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Is there a charity like that? I could look. This is a state funded grant. I suspect it is based on last year’s school population and they’ve lost 30% to actual homeschooling this year, so there’s fewer students enrolled than the grant is intended for.

I could definitely increase my donation to the local charity that provides toys for Christmas in my county. I know the need is high and funds are low this year.

This is a good idea.

I found this. https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/hunger-relief-programs/backpack-program

You could also look for a local group that does this. I will keep googling.

Another one: https://www.nokidhungry.org/what-we-do

It looks like most of these run via the local food bank, so would be a good first step.

Edited by cintinative
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Don't even think twice about it. DO. IT.

I've been getting the lunches for my kids. My kids are homeschooled, but the district has made it clear that the lunches are for ALL kids. When I was going through a depressive episode a couple of months ago, picking up the lunches helped so much.

DO IT.

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Take the lunches.  You've had an exhausting difficult year even before round 2 of covid, your kids qualify, and it will make your life easier.  You're not taking anything away from anyone by accepting, and you might be HELPING people get similar help next year.  The only reason you are even questioning this is that you are depressed.  Take the lunches and don't think twice about it.  At some point in the future when things are settled down and you actually have money in savings for emergencies, then find a charity that helps people in your area.  A food bank or something.  Don't worry about it now.

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Take it. You do have a need, it’s not just financial. I’m sure there are plenty of parents in your district who need the meals because they’re struggling to suddenly homeschool their kids (which is how virtual school feels to folks used to sending kids off to school every day).  A need is a need. Hope it helps you by at least taking breakfast and lunch prep off your to do list. 

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We are getting the free lunches. The USDA has funded the grants through the school year. The USDA funds the school district based on how many meals are actually distributed. The school districts use the funds—and keeps their cafeteria workers employed, keeps contracts with farmers funded, and provides free foods to kids 0-18 (no enrollment required). This is a win-win-win scenario because presumably this frees up funds for families who can spend on other things.

Our district delivers meals via bus routes. 
 

ETA: our district begs people to sign up because they have had budget cuts from the state and desperately needs these additional funds

Edited by prairiewindmomma
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Yes, take the lunches. Donate money if that is what would make you feel better. 
Every child in our county gets free breakfast and lunches. It’s actually cheaper for the county to provide for everyone, then try to separate by the income requirements. So they switched this school year for all students to receive free breakfast and lunch.
If it is convenient for you to pick up the meals, then 100% you should take advantage of that service. 

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I would most definitely take advantage of the program. We have been getting the breakfast and lunches from our local school district since the beginning.  When they started things were very financially difficult, they are better now, but with numbers climbing again we don't know what the next few months will bring.  I have spoken with people running the program, I called when they first came out and I wasn't sure of the requirements (their flyer was a little vague), and they are for everyone regardless of financial need.  I felt better the first time I went through the line behind a new Cadillac SUV.  🙂  They help keep our local families working as well. Don't hesitate. I just did our sign up for the coming week. <<<hugs>>>

Edited by melmichigan
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Take the lunches for now because your kids are better off with mom getting a break from cooking at this time. If you feel uncomfortable about accepting the lunches, in addition to donating to charities, you can drop out of this program when your health situation improves. Do the things that help you most in this current situation. 

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Take the lunches. When ds went to public school, I packed him a lunch every day and it was literally thrown in the garbage daily and replaced with a free lunch. There was no way I could stop him from taking the free lunch.

Take it. You need it.

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Our district has been doing this since March.  Originally I wasn't doing it because we don't need the support, and dudeling wasn't getting free/reduced lunches.  (he's such a picky eater - he wouldn't eat them anyway.)   Then they started robo calling everyone in the district (every week) to make them aware the lunches were available for any child in the district (enrolled or not, need based, or not.).

If all the kids who would go hungry without it are being fed, even if you don't need the financials of it - it sounds like the mental/physical of it would be a needed support while you continue your recovery. (which would support your family.)

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6 minutes ago, Ailaena said:

Please do it.   Sometimes, need isn’t about the money.
 

I hope you begin an upswing soon! ❤️

Exactly.

Earlier this year I got lunches for my daughter because it gave her a sense of normalcy in an upside down covid world.  I have previously gotten extra snacks from the school as my foster boys were used to getting them and again it provided normalcy and security for them.

Take the lunches.

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You should definitely take the lunches.  You’re sick because you’ve been caring for others and while your kids could do fine they will benefit from having the lunches provided for a while.  If they’re feeling a bit worried or stressed it will be something normal and reassuring for them having the lunches turn up each day. 
 

also I’m sorry to hear you’re still not doing well and really hope you start getting better soon. 

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Meals on Wheels is not means tested.  The people who need it need it because they are frail and have a hard time shopping and cooking.  This is analogous, to my mind.  You are frail and would have an extremely hard time shopping and cooking.  It’s temporary in your case, but it’s real nevertheless.  Do it.

 

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Please accept the support the universe is offering to make your life a little easier! 

And although I think the idea of a donation is lovely, I wouldn't want it to add any complication or extra tasks to your plate. 

Charitable donations are their own separate issue, that you can address whenever or however you like. I'm guessing you have enough going on that that time is not now. But if--and only if--you're presently drawn to that idea and can easily implement it, go ahead. 

Just do whatever makes your life a simpler right now. My guess is that's just accepting the lunches.

PS--I love that the vote is unanimous. All the mamas agree, take good care of yourself and take the lunches!

Edited by Acadie
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Take the meals. Your children qualify because they live in the district and that is the only qualification. You won't be taking meals from someone who needs them more because there are enough.  If there were a limited number of slots and a waiting list this might be a dilemma. As it is, not even a question. Sign up right now!

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Sign them up. ASAP. Zero guilt. The offer is there for, quite literally, anyone who would be benefitted by it. You're not saving anyone any money by NOT using the program and the program benefits by having more kids in the area signed up. Save your sanity when there is such a helpful program ready and waiting to help you out. 

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Yes, use it.  No guilt.  You need the break.  It’s specifically provided for all children in the district regardless of enrollment; you qualify.  Also, the more meals served, the better numbers they have for future funding.  Plus employing cafeteria workers, probably janitorial staff, and in our city, bus drivers who are delivering the lunch/breakfast boxes along their routes for families who can’t pick up at the school.

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I’d take the lunches no question.   I know homeschooling families in our district taking advantage.   If at some point you have the bandwidth on the other side of this,  make a donation to a local PTA or something along those lines.

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Put the money you would spend aside and the kids can choose who or what to donate it too next year.  If it is a grant you not taking them is not really going to benefit anyone else   I probably wouldn't but that is because one kid is gluten free and extremely fussy and the other isn't a lot better.  It would stress me out even more when it wasn't eaten.

Sometimes when you are offered something it is best just to smile and say thank you.  It makes the person giving feel good.

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Adding to the chorus: take the *service* that the delivered meals offer to you in your time of real need for services; find a suitable food-based organization and write a compensatory check to support the real *hunger* needs of so many others in this time; and do not feel a moment of guilt.  Take help where you need it; offer help where others need it.

 

(( I hope your energy returns and your spirits lift. ))

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3 hours ago, medawyn said:

Yes, use it.  No guilt.  You need the break.  It’s specifically provided for all children in the district regardless of enrollment; you qualify.  Also, the more meals served, the better numbers they have for future funding.  Plus employing cafeteria workers, probably janitorial staff, and in our city, bus drivers who are delivering the lunch/breakfast boxes along their routes for families who can’t pick up at the school.

Yes. All of this. I think you should take it and have zero guilt. 

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Yes, I think that your health situation definitely justifies it, and this would probably be best for your kids also.

You can compute the savings and decide on a donation to a food charity or other good cause, whenever the time is right for you.

What a wonderful blessing at such a time.  I am thankful that families are being cared for in this way.

I hope you feel better soon!

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1 hour ago, alisoncooks said:

Also, don't feel obligated to donate money to "make up" the difference. You may need it. I truly pray for you a quick recovery, but I'd put any extra $$ aside, just in case. For medical bills or anything you might later need. 

AGREE! Just think of all of the money you've saved the government by homeschooling your high needs kids. AND you're a public servant who caught this on the job. Do not think twice about accepting this service.

((((HUGS))))

 

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