How do Metro Detroit kids & parents feel about free school lunches?

Posted at 5:43 AM, Jul 01, 2024

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan is all set to put another $40 million toward helping continue funding free school meals for all public school students regardless of income.

So, to understand how the community feels about it, I went and spoke to parents in both Oakland and Wayne counties.

The first question I asked was: how often they use the program?

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Markesha, Metro Detroit parent

"We are about 50-50 utilizing it," said Markeesha. "Our kids are not really found of what the school offers as far as lunches. They don't really utilize breakfast because they typically eat a good breakfast at home. But as far as lunches they say they are really mediocre."

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Justin, Metro Detroit parent

"Some days more than others, based on the offerings," said Justin. "We want to make sure there is always the option for them to have additional food if there is anything they want to buy."

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Jon, Metro Detroit parent

"If there is a meal the kids like, then they get to choose that. Usually, we tell them two meals a week; the rest are kind of from home," said Jon. "I think it is probably good for some of the students or residents that maybe need that assistance; I don't know if it's for everybody...my concern mostly is the nutritional value of it."

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Meggan, Metro Detroit resident

"I think kids should be able to go to school and not worry about food," said Meggan.

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Jessica, Metro Detroit resident

"On average, for the school year, $50, and without school lunch, it has probably been $250," said Jessica. "And fortunately, we can afford that there are parents out there that cannot."

When asked what kids usually get with their school lunch, the meals usually consist chicken sandwiches, a vegetable and milk.

"It's usually a main item, an entree, a hamburger, pizza, or something like that, then there is a veggie and a fruit option and a drink," Jon said.

What about dietary restrictions or religious needs, is that a concern?

"Well, generally, the schools consider that when they prepare meals," Meggan said. "My kids are vegetarians, and pretty much now, camps and programs that serve food have vegetarian options."

If there is any kind of food you would like to see added on to the menu, what would that be?

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Max, student

"Turkey sandwich," said Max.

Would you like every school district to have a unified menu?

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Kevin, Metro Detroit parent

"That sounds great to me," said Kevin. "Like let's say a more affluent city, they have better food options vs those in a lesser situation, so a unified menu would level the food Plainfield."

"That would be nice," Markeesha said.

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