I grew up in the UK, eating the nasty school meals of the 1980's, hating every moment of it. Jamie Oliver, British chef extraordinaire, has in recent years, been trying to revolutionize school meals, first across the UK and now in the USA. Thinking about this, I have begun to realise just how important it is for children to have access to healthy food during their school day.
It seems in Ontario, there is no school meal policy. Children at elementary school have to bring their own meals to school in order to eat. There is of course, limited funding for emergency food to give to children with no lunches. This seems though to be diminishing. What kind of government condones children learning at school with little or no access to hot lunches? Many children attend school without having breakfast. Schools rely on outside charities to provide breakfast programs.
I personally think its so sad that there is little money to provide access to healthy meals to children. Without good food, children cannot be active learners. With so much pressure on children to perform, without access to healthy food, children will have difficulty living up to all the expectations upon them. Access to healthy food should be a right. It is a preventative measure, to ensure children grow up healthy and strong. Surely prevention is a good thing?
School meals could also be part of a school garden program. The children could grow the food as part of a school garden program. Being able to grow their food in a garden and then eat it, teaches children so much about being a part of their environment. That connection has been lost in this modern, consumer society. Food is an integral part of our society. Without healthy food, children will grow up sick and obese. What kind of world will it be if we don't stop and think about our children's future?