#RealLifeGiving Tips: School Lunch

We love that you use Buoy Up to give back to charities and organizations while you read the news! (What, you aren’t using it yet? Fix that right now by downloading our extension – you’ll love it.) We also love seeing you give back in real life.

We’re in turbulent times and hate has a big megaphone right now. This means every little act of kindness truly helps. We thought we’d drop a new periodic post with ideas for giving back in real life that won’t break your bank. Have ideas you want to see in the series? Drop us a line, post to the new users-only Facebook group, or tweet at us!

The problem: Federal programs for kids in school that need free or reduced lunches are being drastically cut right now. In some cases they are being eliminated altogether. Kids need food so that they can focus on their studies and not hunger pains – so their young minds have the nourishment they need to grow.

One local solution: Pay off lunch debt for kids at your local schools, even if you don’t have kids. A well-educated population cuts down on crime, creates big thinkers who grow up to do good things, and generally benefits your community. Food is one key to a well-rounded education.

Last spring there was a brief Twitter movement encouraging people to anonymously pay off school lunches for random local kids. We’re not sure where it started, or why it didn’t get more traction, but love the idea and want to give it a signal boost. Pay it forward folks. Pick a random public school in your district, call once a month through the school year, and say you want to pay down the lunch debt of any students who are behind. You can set any dollar amount you wish for this, and you don’t have to know a student at the school or have a student at the school to donate to a lunch debt anonymously (or not anonymously, if you are motivated toward more altruism by receiving kudos).

There is a secondary reason to love this idea, by the way. A terrible practice called lunch shaming could be averted by your generosity. Apparently there are schools out there who will shame kids who don’t have money for lunch. What a draconian, abhorrent practice! I mean, childhood was hard enough without adults piling on, right? Luckily, some states are getting hip to how this bully tactic grows hate in a school between students, creates a sense of other, and leads to bullying and have started to end it, but as they say these days… “not all states.” Do your part to help kids avoid shaming. Pay it forward.

image credit: Wikimedia Commons