cafeteriaThere are many things to concern ourselves with these days. It is my theory we can all take on at least one thing and make a difference. Food has always been my passion- in all aspects- from protecting our rights to clean water, to protecting the bees that help create our natural food supply, to organic gardening. It has inspired me at home and in my art. 

So, it’s no wonder when I heard about the hideous practice of Lunch Shaming, I hit the roof then I hit the ground. Lunch Shaming, you ask? What is that?? Well, it certainly astounded me how many people have not heard of it- even those who have children, which I don’t.  But I DO understand the power of food and family and the lifetime connections we develop around those things. It is one of the basic themes running through "The Meatball Chronicles." 

What is Lunch Shaming? Lunch Shaming is the practice of shaming children who are on a reduced-price lunch programming if their parents are not current on their payment. Yes, shaming the children. In horrible ways- from throwing out their hot lunch and handing them instead a slice of cheese, to stamping on their arm “I Need Lunch Money.”  I NEVER recall that happening in my public school- this kind of cruelty seems relatively new. My theory is that it began in the 80’s when we decided to only measure value by the bottom line and the worship the almighty dollar over personal values, public good and moral achievement.  For Instance, we now hear a box office record reported, not whether the movie was good. We hear about how much money someone has made or is worth before we understand how they have led their life or what they did in order to achieve their wealth. 

But I digress. When I found out about Lunch Shaming, I decided I could use my voice to raise awareness.  I realized that New Mexico is the first state to pass a law against this horrible practice, but that it is not a federal law. Michelle Lujan Grisham is working now in the House and Senator Tom Udall is working in the Senate to make this come to pass. New Mexico Appleseed, a nonprofit organization, is working toward that end crafting these bills and working on the policy level to end childhood hunger.  Perfect. 

As I tour my show "The Meatball Chronicles," I will be working to raise awareness about Ending Lunch Shaming and giving folks in each city an action they can do to help.

 Let’s do this.