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5 things: Michelle Obama fights back on school lunch changes

This and more are the things you missed for the week of May 8.

Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.

Here’s your list for the week of May 15:

1. Michelle Obama fights back on school lunch changes

When she was first lady, Michelle Obama was at the forefront of pushing forward reforms to make school meals healthier. Following last week’s announcement by new USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue that some of those standards would be rolled back, Obama is speaking out against the changes. “Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap,” Obama said at a conference. "You have to stop and think, 'Why don't you want our kids to have good food at school?’ What is wrong with you and why is that a partisan issue? Why would that be political?"

Read more: Michelle Obama criticizes Trump school lunch decision


2. NYC residents protest for universal free meals

In another component of school lunch “shaming” rules, students who don’t have money to pay for meals are often given an alternative meal. Many of those students qualify for free or reduced priced meals, but for whatever reason, the family hasn’t filed the paperwork to allow those students access to those meals. Some in the nation’s largest district are protesting and asking for universal free meals for all students. They say the stigma of free and reduced meals harms children. Others say universal free meals are the only way to combat unpaid meal balances and so-called shaming practices. NYC schools already serves some 350,000 students free meals daily. 

Read more: Public Pressure Builds Toward Providing Universal Free Lunch in City Schools


3. Indiana woman sentenced to jail for stealing school lunch money

An Evansville, Ind., woman was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being convicted of stealing more than $149,000 from a school’s cafeteria account. The woman had been the school’s cafeteria manager, and she admitted to stealing money from St. Benedict Cathedral School from 2008 until March 2015.

Read more: Evansville Woman Sent To Prison For Stealing Money From School Cafeteria Account


4. Dreamer immigrant working in DC foodservice worried about status

This article is an interesting read about a cashier who works in the Senate cafeteria in DC. She came to the country as an illegal immigrant as a child and was granted Dreamer status under President Obama, meaning she received a temporary work permit and a reprieve from deportation. Now, under the current administration and its attitudes toward immigrants, she’s worried about what will happen to her Dreamer status—all while serving many of the very people who could determine her fate.

Read more: This Dreamer Works For The Politicians Who Will Decide Her Fate In The U.S.


5. College giving students money for dining plans

Students at George Washington University are one year into a new dining plan, and many have voiced concerns about the new program. To help combat some of these concerns—including that the plan doesn’t give enough money to afford the high cost of dining in DC—the administration is giving students an additional $200 in dining dollars. One of the changes under the new meal plan is that students can use dining dollars at any vendor and grocery store across campus.

Read more: Officials give $200 boost to student dining budget amid affordability concerns


Bonus: Opinion: The trouble with so-called school lunch “shaming” laws 


Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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