No good reason for big school lunch balances

Silk Hope, NC – I have had three children in the Chatham County School system.  I am very familiar with how it all works and I feel I am uniquely qualified to comment on this.   

I have been there and done it.  The very first thing to happen when school starts is open house.  Some parents neglect to go to open house.  This is when the kids get room assignment and a stack of paperwork for the parents to fill out.  You don’t have to go to open house but I recommend it.

Those that do will receive the application for free and reduced price lunch and can fill it out on the spot and hand it to the teacher. Kids whose parents can’t get to open house will get the package their first day of school.  The note from the school clearly states to fill all applicable forms out and turn in the first week of school.  I know for a fact some parents won’t fill out paperwork and have to be prodded by teachers to do so.

The absolute first thing you do is make sure every piece of paperwork is filled out correctly .  

If you can’t afford to buy your children lunch make sure you fill out the form.  It’s two pages, fill in the blanks and its available in Spanish too.

I went through a lot raising my kids over the last 28 years.  I suffered multiple car wrecks, illness, being hit by lightning, a divorce and most of the supportive elders of my family passing away.  My injuries left me bruised mentally and broken physically.  Even though you can recover mentally over time physically you can’t bounce back but so far.  There were not just days I couldn’t function but weeks at a time. I never knew when my body would throw me a curve ball and I still don’t .  I was left with little ones to raise with no child support on about $750 a month. 

In 26 years not one of my children went hungry or did without decent clothing. I on the other hand did without medicine, new clothing, glasses and anything else I could to make sure they did not go with out. I’m still driving the same 50 year old truck.  I filled out the form and my kids got reduced price lunch. It was my responsibility to make sure my children got fed one way or another.  This is what parents do.  You do your monthly budget where your kids come first with  food, shelter and clothing are the priorities everything else is optional.

I know I’m not perfect, I have complained and whined on here in years past but the thing most who just see a post in black and white couldn’t understand was the depth of depression and stress I was under.  My children were the only things to keep me going.  If I managed to deal with disableling  physical limitations, depression and severe stress on top of raising not one child but several kids on $750 a month by myself, then I see no reason anyone else couldn’t do the same now with the best economy I have every seen in my life.   

I taught my children to always do it yourself, never buy what you can’t afford,  pay bills first and save what you don’t spend.  I had one child that was difficult and stubborn like his old man but guess what, he got with the program too. They all are self sufficient, very happy and manage their own money.  This is all a parent can ask for.

Ultimately when people pay a kids lunch bill they aren’t helping the children they are helping the parents.  I’m not saying that some parents don’t need a little help but when you can simply fill out a form and get help why complain about it online? If you make under $40 grand a year go ahead and fill out the form.  If you make more than $40 grand a year a lunch bill shouldn’t be a problem if you know how to budget your money.   

I see no logical reason there should be enormous lunch balances .