Angry at children’s hunger

I’m angry. I’m really, really angry!

On the 17th April it became widespread “news” that many of our children were attending school while hungry – no breakfasts, no lunches.

How can our government in one breath stress the need for greatly improved education for our youth while at the same time allow students to attend classes on empty stomachs? No one can hope to learn effectively and efficiently when hungry! In fact, all that hungry youngsters really learn is that “nobody out there cares.” And we wonder why we have a crime problem.

The best teachers on earth and the best school buildings, books, you name it, will be utterly useless if students are hungry when attending classes.

How can our premier, our minister of Education and our entire Cabinet spend public funds on luxury and mostly unnecessary travel, gifts to private entities and heaven knows what other luxuries that we, the voting public, know nothing about while our students attend classes on empty stomachs?

It’s high time we all asked ourselves, “Is this the kind of government we wish to continue with for the next four years?” I for one would certainly hope not!

David R. Myers

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Myers

    Is it the government’s responsibility to feed schoolchildren…or their parents’ responsibility ?

    3 square meals a day is, or used to be the rule for a normal diet and even if children are at school for lunch time, breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day.

    If children are arriving at school in the morning on an empty stomach, how is that the responsibility of the government ?

    In a socialised, tax-paying system like there is in Britain, the local government has an obligation to provide lunch for schoolchildren and this is funded by the tax-payers, their parents…and other citizens.

    This obligation and responsibilty is mandated by law, as well as the content of school meals for nutritional content; these meal provider contracts run into many millions of pounds and is monitored for compliance.

    In a free-market, non-tax jurisdiction like Cayman, where does the funding for providing school meals for children come from if no taxes are being paid ?

    Instead of having a moan at the government, might a better idea not be to suggest a small, obligatory fee from each family with children in school to contribute towards at least a proper, nutritional lunch ?

    It is a disgrace, in this day and age that ANY children should go hungry, especially in so-called rich countries like Cayman but…

    If people do not fulfill their responsibilities towards their children, it is not the fault of the government.

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  2. David I read your comments, but am I right in thinking that you are implying that the Government need to feed Cayman Hungry children? I do not think so. But I do feel that it is the responsibility of all including the rich and famous to assist with this problem. Ok what do you think will happen to these children if they do not go to school and is on the streets of Cayman. Eventually they will break into my business and also yours, just because we never gave them the chance of having something to eat. That is the least we can do. Raise funds. I see in Cayman we raise funds of thousands of dollars for all sorts of things, not needed. Why don’t the rich and famous have a fund raising event funds in each district at least once every six months and this money is used to buy food for the canteen of the School. It can work. But every body wants to go to heaven and no body wants to die. Take some of the weight from the Government shoulders and do fund raising to help feed the children of parents who cannot afford it.

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  3. Fix the Problem not the Blame

    Seems the debate goes as to who should pay rather than if it’s a good idea.

    The new schools have Air Conditioning – are parents sent an invoice for the electricity used to give their kids a comfortable learning environment – no – its just a good idea.

    Now take a school with 504 students, if we give each a pint of porridge/oatmeal = 63 gallons

    depending on your recipe, that could be done as 21 gallons water, 21 gallons whole milk, 21 gallons of rolled oats (about 70 pounds).

    sounds a lot but even at retail prices the milk is 100 bucks and top end organic oatmeal 140 bucks.

    so the ingredients could be had for under 50 cents a student – add in the savings on bulk buying and even if you add some fruit or raisins and you could give all students breakfast for 40 grand a year!

    Working parents would contribute and many would jump at the chance to drop kids off half an hour earlier to give them a chance at breakfast while missing traffic.

    I recently saw a kid chugging a 40oz high fructose corn syrup soda with a family size bag of chips, can’t have been more than 13 or 14 but was already 300 pounds. That is ALSO malnutrition. Get them off the junk food and the health benefits are clear.

    Don’t think of it as feeding the kids – think of it as educating their palettes, get them a taste for wholesome foods and the benefits last longer than their time in school.

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