RCSD Students Deserve Hot Lunches

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The students of the Rochester City School District deserve healthy, hot meals while they are in our school buildings. To give them subpar food options sends the message that they are not a priority. Food is love, and our student's deserve to feel loved in our schools. Beyond their emotional well being, food feeds their growing brains and bodies and helps them do their best. "During childhood, under-nutrition causes children to have less energy and less interest for learning, which negatively influences cognitive development and academic performance." (https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/nutrition-for-children

Nearly half of all student's in the RCSD are living in poverty, 1 in 10 students are homeless, and the child food insecurity rate in our region is 18.3%. For many of our students, the school building is the only space they may receive a hot meal. We cannot underestimate the importance of this vital service our school's provide, and it is not an area where we can afford to cut corners. 

In addition to the students we serve, our workers are an integral part of our school families, and we cannot support our students if we do not have proper staffing. This is a racial justice issue. BENTE/AFSCME represents an overwhelming number of immigrants, Black, and Latinx members of the Rochester community, particularly in the fields of food services and school security; and Food service and security staff were instrumental in feeding students throughout the first wave of the pandemic, putting at risk their personal safety and the safety of their own family members. 

Students and staff rely on each other to thrive, and we cannot separate the needs of one group from that of the other. We demand: 

- Fresh, hot, and healthy locally sourced meals delivered to our students in their classrooms starting immediately.

- The recall of ALL BENTE food service members who help prepare and deliver these meals so that our students can thrive. 

This petition is a collaboration between the Community Justice Initiative and Rochester Org. of Rank and File Educators. 



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