Shut Down the Shutdown: Our Students Need Lunch to Focus on School

At CollegeSpring, we express our commitment to strive for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through the following Vision Statement:

“We envision a world where every individual has the opportunity to grow and be respected as a student, professional, and person, regardless of their culture, background, or creed. We help students to use education as a tool to narrow opportunity gaps, unleashing the liberty and self-determination that comes with a college degree.”

Regrettably, multiple decisions made by the current federal administration in recent weeks have come into direct conflict with our vision and our mission as an organization that cares deeply about social justice. In order to uphold the promise we have made to expand educational opportunity, we have written the following statement:

The government shutdown has the potential to impact our students’ free and reduced price lunch benefits. At CollegeSpring, 84% of the students we serve qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Already, schools have begun to ration and reduce food served in an attempt to conserve resources. Although the Department of Agriculture attempted to quell these fears by stating that funding for these programs will not run out until March, President Trump has been clear that he is willing to allow this shutdown to go on “for months or even years.”

According to research produced by No Kid Hungry, in the United States, 13 million students from low-income families go to school hungry. The same study reports that 73% of educators teach students who come to school hungry. The direct result of student malnourishment is lower performance across all academic subjects, most notably mathematics. Twenty-two million students rely on free and reduced-price lunch benefits through the National School Lunch Program. To these students, this program could mean the difference between achieving upward mobility through education or repeating the cycle of poverty. President Trump’s blatant lack of urgency to ensure that students’ basic needs are met is a profound moral failure and actively works against their academic achievement.

CollegeSpring condemns these actions and stands in solidarity with the students, educators, mentors, and administrators whom we have the honor of serving. We are devoted to increasing opportunities for all people and are vehemently opposed to these actions taken by the current federal administration that threaten the well-being of our constituents. We continue to uphold our promise to illuminate and combat institutionalized oppression. We continue to strive for a more equitable world through educational opportunities, and we denounce any affront to this vision.