Having A Good Nutrition In School

1625 words - 7 pages

While learning does not end when school is out, neither does the need for good nutrition (“Benefits”, n.d.). Good nutrition is very beneficial to children, especially school age children. Not only does it provide nutritional benefits to help with their growth process, it also enhances their learning process. Senate Bill 89 (SB 89), passed in the 83rd regular session, ensure that low income children acquire free meals in the summer when school is not in session. Although, SB 89 ensures nutritious meals for children in the summer, the bill does not go far enough. The bill failed to take into account the following; transportation issues, the number of days the program operates weekly and the statutory requirement that only school districts with fifty percent (50%) or more of their students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program are required to implement the program. Besides the above listed problems, the implementation of the bill faces a major barrier to participation and lack of awareness.
The current statutory requirement under SB 89 requires school districts with 50% or more of their students receiving free and reduced meal to qualify for funds and is required to implement the summer food program. School districts not meeting this requirement do not qualify for this funding and are not required to implement this program. In addition to not being required to implement the program, school districts can file for exemption from implementation under SB 89. This not only creates a flaw in the program’s framework, it leaves hundred of children in the State hungry during the summer months. Although, the bill aimed to address this issue by changing the previous requirement under Senate Bill 376 from 60% to 50% under SB 89, there are still children in certain counties in Texas that may not qualify under SB 89, considering there are 66.6% of children in the State who qualify for free and reduced lunch in 2011-2012 (“Free/reduced”, n.d.). Consider Harris County, although 73.2% of Harris County students qualified for free and reduced lunch in 2011 and 2012 (“Free/reduced”, n.d.). neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Fort Bend County fall below this threshold. Montgomery County has 47% of its student qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program. Fort Bend County also has 44.4% of students qualifying for the program (“Free/reduced”, n.d.). The majority of the school districts within these two counties will be ineligible for funding to implement the summer food program base on SB 89 qualification criteria.
Not only is the problem related to the basic framework of the bill, the actual implementation has several potential problems including transportation, awareness and the number of actual days the program is made available to children. According to Memmy Durand, a nutrition educator and a supervisor for the summer meal program at the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District sites selection is base on the following;...

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