West Virginia Students Fed During School Shutdowns

While teachers in West Virginia are anticipating a third and potentially fourth day of their walk-out over teacher salary, they’re still thinking about their students. About one-fourth of the public school students in the state are living in poverty, and that means that they qualify for free meals from the school. Often, the school breakfast and lunch provide them with almost all of the nutrition they receive during the day.

So, what do they do when there’s no school? Many schools provide their students with extra food that they can take home for the weekend. For example, at Nitro High School in Kanawha County, backpacks are left on Friday afternoons to help students get through the weekend.

This week, those backpacks were left out on Wednesday, just ahead of the strike that started on Thursday.

In other parts of the state, community groups hosted lunches for students on Thursday and Friday and packed bags for students to take home.

When the walk-out was being set up, union officials advised communities as to the action that they were prepared to take so that groups and families could plan for childcare and for what to do about feeding the state’s poorest students.

Approximately 275,000 students missed school on Thursday and Friday because their schools closed. Teachers and school personnel are taking action to protest their low wages, which are only projected to increase by 2% in July, 1% in 2020, and another 1% in 2021.

March 17, 2018

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