It’s nice to read an account of a School Lunch Committee that cares about affordable nutrition in schools where poor children are often malnourished.
For a child who is really very ill-nourished one meal a day is not the solution of all its troubles, but it goes a good way toward helping. Moreover, the luncheons are planned so carefully that for each 3 cents the child gets almost half the number of calories that scientists have declared necessary for a day’s nourishment. So the one meal does a good deal. There was some talk when the subject of this experiment was first broached to the effect that it was unnecessary, that no children went to school complaining of hunger. It was the old trouble of confusing hunger with malnutrition. But now, armed with facts and figures, the committee is ready to prove its case. And then they will doubtless ask, “What are you going to do about it?”
Everybody knows that children who have not a fair start in life are likely at some time in some way to become a charge to the State. Fortunately only a small proportion of them ever come to this, for if it were the rule there would be no money for anything but caring for invalids and paupers; still, whenever a child is neglected the State runs the chance of having some day to pay for it.
On all sides we hear about race suicide, and we have it drilled into our ears that the nation whose birth rate declines is well started on the road that leads to degeneration. To all of this everybody is constantly saying “Amen” with pious fervor. Meanwhile what children there are in the country may die from malnutrition without anybody becoming particularly excited over the fact.
The country wants children; the country must have children; and then when children do come the country does not seem to feel that it is its business to keep them alive…
It would really seem to an impartial observer from Mars or some other logically minded planet that we ought either to take care of the children when they are here or else drown them as soon as they are born.
Jamie Oliver would be proud.
GOOD SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR THREE CENTS PROVE A SUCCESS: And for a Penny More Dessert Is Supplied — That Is the Interesting Result of Experiments by the School Lunch Committee (PDF)
From July 3, 1910
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