Lancaster to launch lunchbox program

Lancaster lunch box programLANCASTER – The City of Lancaster has partnered with the Lancaster School District, Grace Resource Center and the University of Antelope Valley to actively reduce childhood hunger in the community.

A pilot program called Lancaster Lunchbox, sponsored by Lancaster’s Youth Commission, will take place at Sierra Elementary School in Lancaster during the last two weeks of May.  This pilot program will gather feedback to substantiate the viability of a long-term program throughout the City.

The Lancaster Lunchbox program’s objective is to serve at least 40 disadvantaged students weekly by providing care packages filled with nutritious foods to take home with them each weekend.

The care packages will be assembled by volunteers and distributed on Fridays after school.  Each package will contain two breakfast items, two snack items, two lunch items, one fruit cup, one vegetable cup, and two main course meals.  The planned menu accommodates a child’s daily nutritional needs, providing the nourishment required during weekend hours when the student is away from school.

The goal of a food resource program such as this is to not only address the hunger issue among community youth, but also to increase school attendance; improve student performance; and boost self-esteem – all of which become problematic when hunger is a factor in a child’s daily life.

The issues associated with childhood hunger can be addressed, in a large part, through the Lancaster Lunchbox program for a modest financial investment.  Serving one student costs $3 per week, $12 per month, and $114 per year.

“The positive effects a program like this can have on a student’s overall development are well worth the investment,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “For a mere three dollars per week, a child’s life can be significantly improved.  Who wouldn’t be willing to spend a few dollars for this invaluable cause?”

Through the Lancaster Lunchbox pilot program, the City and its partners seek to inspire and promote the expansion of this effort throughout the Lancaster School District, striving to eventually operate food pantries in every local school.

“We are partnering to end childhood hunger,” said Mayor Parris. “This is an effort we expect the entire community to support in order to improve the lives and enhance the futures of our community youth.”

(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)

  30 comments for “Lancaster to launch lunchbox program

  1. lulu belle
    May 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Problem is when that child takes that food home for the weekend, it is eaten by the whole family. The mother/father will get their share too so the kid doesn’t get all of it. I knew of a family where the mother stashed her goodies in her bedroom so the kids would not eat any of it. She didn’t buy them substantial food so they were always hungry and wanted her candy, chips, cookies etc. She even yelled at them to stay out of her food! My food in my kitchen in my home was for everyone…I never denied my children food ever! I was fortunate to want to work have a husband who loves to work and our children never went without food.

  2. nunnya
    May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Just an FYI – I know a family of 4 that gets about $500 in foodstamps every month… they get free breakfast and lunch for their kids at school and free groceries from Grace Resource along with 2 other churches every week. They sell their foodstamps to people at 50% ($50 cash for $100 in FS) and only spend about $250 on food themselves with their foodstamps and what they buy is soda and chips and pizza and subway… I know this family personally and have found that aoubt 75% of families receiving foodstamps do the same thing.

    • super freakie
      May 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      trippie huhh? Trying to find someone to report the fraud to is fun and waiting for them to do something about it is a disgrace! Antelope Valley, Land of the Free Everything.

  3. speaker of truth
    May 22, 2013 at 9:31 am

    First let me say I’m sure none of us want to see a child go hungry. That being said, exactly when did it become my responsibility to feed your child at school? First it was free lunch….then breakfast….now lunches to take home for the weekend??? Any family already receiving food stamps should not also receive free food at school. If there’s any doubt in your mind about the waste that goes on every day in this program, go down to your kid’s school and hang out in the cafeteria during “free breakfast” and “free lunch.” What you will see is 80% of the kids taking the one item they want off the tray, and throw away the remaining 4 items. To me that shows the kid is not hungry. All the while, mama has spare money to get her nails done, get her horse hair extensions, cigarettes and drugs. Oh and dont forget the $1000 rims on the $500 car. This is a blatant waste of money, especially when we constantly hear Steve Baker at Grace asking for additional donations.

    • carla
      May 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      i know what steve baker and john do at graces and its not nice they take all the good food home and all the cakes that castco gives them to get to the people and they take them home and give us people the rotten food or the green food to take home and they take the good food and we get nothing and if you are homeless and you go to the food line at graces they give you a small amount and i mean a very small amount of food and they get tons for their selfs and we get so little and then if you get back in line they get sooooo made at you and mean while they get soooooo much more then the homeless and taking cakes home that is for the public is soooooooo wrong and i just wish they would fire them and get new people to run graces and please not john or steve cause they are theifs…

  4. dennetta
    May 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Jasmine- I am greatly disturbed by your comment…..first off, jobs are not always easy to come by, two-just because a parent needs assistance does NOT make them lazy or an abuser. Sometimes circumstances make things hard for families, like an absent parent, a parent passing away, or even a parent being disabled. So are you saying that these families should have their children ripped away from them? If so, you are a very cold person. This is being said by a mother whose children were stolen from her based on opinions of people like you who was doing her best as a single parent raising 3 children, one who is disabled and is far from lazy. So take these things into account before making ignorant comments about children should be taken from families who fall on hard times………. And I pray you never have to bear the pain of having family roote apart.

  5. May 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Why only in Lancaster? Why can’t the 2 mayor’s (Leddford & Parris) make up and encourage this throughout the cities they represent? What about the rest of the family? One child gets food yet the rest of the family goes hungry…give me a break..
    Yes, a lot of free-loaders will take advantage, and this is only if the program is not run well. This will not help the families of the children receiving the food for the week-end, and like others have said; the food will be sold for drugs or booze. I cannot believe that we have hungry children or adults in this country…

  6. Quigley
    May 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

    The abusers will take the lunches, and all handouts because that is what they do…we will pay for it, and that is that. And you wonder why the non-abusers are so damn angry…paying their own way while the lazy pos’s are probably at the nail shops right now on our dime. Get it??

  7. SAC
    May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

    So will the assistance checks be reduced by the amount it costs to procure the lunches? It seems to me that the EBT benefit ALREADY pays for lunch for the month. This means that those on the system will receive additional benefits at taxpayer expense….once again!

    • sikntired
      May 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Perhaps they need to do more home checks to see if these kids are being fed by parents, if not why not.Did they sell the food stamps to buy cigarettes (how can anyone on welfare afford to smoke), drugs, phones?
      Maybe should return to surplus food distribution instead of food stamps.
      Parent (s) need to be held accountable.Almost ready to end my donation to Grace, they do a lot of good but this is not good and needs to be re- thought.

  8. A. Richards
    May 19, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I work I this particular field, our organization had a family that their fridge was not working, we worked with other groups and got them a new fridge, filled it with food and brought it to their home…. One week later on a welfare check for the student at the home and we noticed the fridge missing…. Parent wouldn’t answer and later the student told us it was traded for drugs by the mother…. But yep, the social worker didn’t have “enough” to remove the kid…… The restrictions on what the social workers can do, the amount of cases…. It is ridiculous….. The family that takes care of themselves have about an average of 1.75 kids per family, the poor leaching off government and requiring social services are averaging over 4 kids per family…. With the addition of immigration surpassing births in this country…. Fast forward and the United States has nothing to do but continue it’s spiral down…..

    • Balderdash
      May 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

      “The family that takes care of themselves have about an average of 1.75 kids per family, the poor leaching off government and requiring social services are averaging over 4 kids per family”

      This line is a bunch of hogwash!

      Are you saying that only families with less than 1.75 children “take care of themselves” and that those with over 4 kids “leach off government?” I guess those families with between 1.75 and 4 kids should have a close eye kept on them in case they need the services of a social worker.

      Comments like the one I quoted above are the reason I have so much disdain for social workers. You took anecdotal evidence from a small portion of society – whom you see everyday – and over generalized it to the entire population – most of which “take care of themselves” and do not “leach off government.”

      Didn’t they teach you in grad school that correlation does not equal causation?

    • Gladys
      May 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      I agree A Richards. I think the number 4 is a bit low.
      Some program has already paid for that food. Unfortunatly, the kids didn’t get it. It was spent on nails, hair and lots of other necessary crap.
      Doing welfare checks is a hard one too. The recipients are aware that they do not have to open the door unless you have a search warrant. They will always stay 1 step ahead of you. They’ll say they are busy and you need to make an appointment. That is unless of course the inspector isn’t already “in their pocket”.

  9. dumbandblind
    May 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    The problem is not hungry children but rather over fed adults!

  10. Jasmine
    May 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    This is just another free handout for lazy people. I’m tired of this crap. People need to get off welfare and start being responsible! If you can’t afford your kids…they should be taken away from their families and placed with people who CAN take care of them. If people were afraid of losing their children, they would work harder to get off their ass and start supporting their kids! I don’t work hard for my money just so some lazy pathetic losers can sit on their ass and do nothing all day while I pay for their kids. The government needs to cut everyone off and make people work for once!

    • ryeneshia Jackson
      May 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      AGREED!!!! May if all theses wefare mamas take away the iphone and drugs and stop buy there babys daddys video games you might have enought welfare to feed your kids. this is why you get wefare not to sit at home and get fat but to help your kids go work at mc donalds lol all the free big macs you want lolololol

  11. Michael Rives
    May 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I applaud everyone for thinking of others, but I think a city-wide tutoring program to help all students improve on their studies would be more beneficial. This way the students could better themselves and move on to college or trade school in the future. “Man does live by Bread alone.”

  12. sikntired
    May 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Yet another encouragement for people to not take responsibility for their own children.
    Just another attempt to make people weak and dependent.Not good.

    • may19
      May 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      I know someone who gets welfare benefits, and they got there maximum benefit amount already. Which is 4years, and your terminated. This person has worked at many places, they even traveled all the way to the valley for months and worked, but unfortunately got laid off. I see them constantly going on, and filling out applications. One thing I can’t believe that happened to this person was the county made him cancel a class that was going to help him get a job. It was a specific class for a certain job too, I wanted to complain to someone on there behalf. Just so you know, no one can keep getting cash aide more than 4 years that is on cal works.

      • fefe
        May 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

        Yes ..4 years for the care taker you still get cash aid for the child and you get more food stamps …so if i have 5 kids and i get the MFG waiver then i can get 972 cash aid and almost 700 food stamps aka calfresh benefits for 4 years and after that i will get cut off but my kids will still get the cash aid it will just drop to 866 mo and i still will get the 700 food stamps or may get more due to me have less cash aid ..

  13. AVgirl
    May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Though I am sure the people doing this have good intentions, sadly this only encourages people to rely on hand-outs and assistance.

    I see it on a daily basis. People discuss where the best free things are, which organiazations check for id’s and which are easier to get things from. They show their children it is ok to take advanatge of an already flawed system.

    Having seen first hand the abuse and fraud associated with this type of help, I refuse to participate.

    • sikntired
      May 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      This does absolutely nothing to improve self esteem.This just encourages yet another generation to be on the dole.
      This tells young kids,well,your Mom and Dad can’t take care of you very well,so let us do it.How does that improve anybody’s self esteem.

    • Quigley
      May 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      I agree with you 100%..the truly needy are sleeping on our streets. This new group of givers should be driving this town during the night, and handing out their weekend lunch boxes to those freezing their asses off while sleeping in the cold. Stop enabling the fraud in this valley!!

      • sikntired
        May 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        As if there weren’t enough reasons to bully kids, here’s another.
        What do they think when other kids whose Mommy or Daddy provides them with food asks why they are getting food to take home. What message does this send to the parents, or are they so far gone they won’t care their kids are “special”
        I can see it now,the food will be gone before they get home.

        • ryeneshia Jackson
          May 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

          lancaster is too poor there are hardly any kids who moms send them to school with lunch

          • AVgirl
            May 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

            Why should the moms even bother to send lunch? They are given a free lunch anyways.

          • SAC
            May 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

            Ryeneshia, that more than likely means that the family is receiving welfare benefits and are being paid for 3 meals a day for 30 days per family member. There is NO EXCUSE to send a child, that the parent is receiving benefits for, to school without lunch. What it means is that the parent is neglecting their child and cheating the system. The parent/guardian of ANY child not being fed properly should be investigated. Especially those that receive taxpayer funds expressly for that purpose.

          • sikntired
            May 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

            I meant who provide them with food at home.This is for the weekend when they can’t eat at school.
            And who feeds them at night,during the week?

  14. k****
    May 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    This on top of food stamps that are provided for disadvantaged families? sounds like good intentions but like any other government program, prone to corruption.

    • 10 dog
      May 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Right on more gov. take over.

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