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Woman Confronts Son’s BFF’s Mother After She Learns That Her Boy Was Cut Off From Their Shared Lunch To Save Money
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Woman Confronts Son’s BFF’s Mother After She Learns That Her Boy Was Cut Off From Their Shared Lunch To Save Money

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One of the best perks of being a kid is having no worries. Kids don’t have to stress about how they will pay rent, making sure they do their taxes on time, taking care of children or where their next meal will come from. Well, they shouldn’t have to worry about any of those things. But unfortunately, there are some kids who grow up in environments where they don’t have the luxury of coming home to a refrigerator full of food or parents who will pack them lunch every morning. In fact, there are many kids in that situation, as according to No Kid Hungry, as many as 9 million children in the United States currently live in “food insecure” households.  

One parent on Reddit recently shared that their son’s best friend is one of those children. They noted that, in the past, they had been ensuring that the boy always got lunch, but recently, things have changed. The parent is now wondering if they were in the wrong for prohibiting their son for sharing food with his friend, and many passionate readers have weighed in. Below, you can read the parent’s full explanation, as well as some of the replies it has received, and an interview we were lucky enough to receive from Executive Director of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, Bethany Ross.

Then let us know in the comments how you feel about all of this. Have you ever helped a child who you knew might go hungry if you didn’t? Or do you know what it feels like to be the child left without lunch?

More info: Reddit

After deciding not to pack lunches for their son’s best friend anymore, this parent is wondering if they handled the situation poorly

Image credits: Hillshire Farm (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: Taylor Flowe (not the actual photo)

While it is not this parent’s fault that their son’s best friend does not have enough money or food at home for lunch, once they became aware of the situation, it became their responsibility. As an adult, they understand that no child should go without lunch, and they should have taken steps to ensure this boy would never go without a meal. Most schools have programs that will provide free meals to kids in need, if their parents cannot afford to pay for lunch, but these programs are of no use if no one reaches out for help. It should not be this young boy’s responsibility to notify the school that he does not have food at home, but this parent can be his advocate and speak up to make sure he is well-fed and taken care of.

To gain more insight into this topic, we reached out to Bethany Ross, Executive Director of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, a Canadian organization that seeks to ensure no kid is ever without lunch. First, we asked Bethany how common it is for children to be going hungry at home or in school. “Every day, we see more and more kids and families facing food insecurity,” she told Bored Panda. “Alberta had the highest rate of food insecurity in 2021 at 20.3%. 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 lives in a household that experienced some level of food insecurity. There are studies that show that a kid experiencing food insecurity loses 132 minutes of learning each day if they are hungry at school … It is a pretty common issue. We are close to providing lunch for 6,000 kids every school day.”

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We also asked Bethany what adults should do when they become aware of a child who is going hungry. “If they’re in Calgary, they can talk to their school and ask about the Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) program. Our program is on over 225 schools in Calgary. If our program is not in a school, please reach out to our family connector Jasmine at jasmine@bb4ck.org. She will happily help families find food resources in our city. We are a barrier-free program, which means if a kid needs lunch we will give them lunch. No questions asked.”

“For folks outside of Calgary, we’d encourage them to reach out to their school or to find local resources that can help. Many cities have the option to call 211 to learn about community support,” Bethany says. And for pandas who aren’t living in Canada, you may need to do a bit of research about the programs available in your own countries, but if you’re living in the US, you can contact No Kid Hungry, and if you’re living in the UK, you can reach out to The Food Foundation.

Helping food insecure children can make a huge difference in many people’s lives. Bethany shared with Bored Panda that, “Over 400 volunteers get together in over 30 BB4CK kitchens to make sure close to 6,000 kids receive a sandwich, fruit, veggies and snacks every school day. We reach as many kids as we can and provide them with a nutritious lunch that fills their bellies and minds. People can help in many different ways, they can volunteer in one of our kitchens, donate, host a snack drive, host a fundraiser event and follow us on social media, helping us raise awareness. Talking about food insecurity for kids, and how this is an issue that impacts nearly everyone in a community, is also a valuable way to help make changes, so all kids have the food they need.”

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“We are here to help,” Bethany added. “We know with high food prices, more and more families are stretching their dollars to make ends meet. We can help by providing a nutritious lunch every school day. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.” If you live in Calgary and want to learn more about BB4CK, you can find their website right here.

As many readers pointed out, in this particular child’s household, there may be more issues at hand than just a lack of food. Sadly, the bizarre and neglectful behavior of the parents might constitute a call to Child Protective Services. And as someone who has been made aware about this situation, it would be wrong for this parent to ignore a child in need. Even if there is nothing illegal happening in that home, starving a child should never go unpunished or unnoticed. It is much better for this parent to get involved and have someone doing welfare checks on this child than to allow more time, and more trauma, to take place.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this upsetting topic in the comments down below. If you’ve ever had to intervene to help out a child in need, feel free to share how you went about it, and if you know of any more resources to contact in situations like this, you can share them with your fellow pandas as well. No person on this planet should ever be forced to skip meals, especially children who depend on adults to look out for them and care for them.   

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Many readers told the parent that they should have done more to help, including contacting the school and/or authorities

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Author, BoredPanda staff

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Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Author, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Vėja Elkimavičiūtė

Vėja Elkimavičiūtė

Author, Community member

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I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. Looking at pets and memes is the best part of my work. I love to travel and want to see the world. Still looking and exploring stuff I like and want to do so thats exciting... and sometimes not

Read less »

Vėja Elkimavičiūtė

Vėja Elkimavičiūtė

Author, Community member

I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. Looking at pets and memes is the best part of my work. I love to travel and want to see the world. Still looking and exploring stuff I like and want to do so thats exciting... and sometimes not

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happyhirts avatar
Mad Dragon
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My policy is to always feed the hungry kid. I don’t care why they are hungry, I feed the hungry kid. Two pieces of bread with turkey or a yogurt and a banana won’t put you into financial crisis. Report to CPS if you think there is a neglectful situation, but feed the hungry kid in the meantime.

fartingpinwheel avatar
Well-Dressed Wolf
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes! When I was in middle school (late 80s-early 90s), I had a group of friends. There were 5 of us, and two of the kids barely brought any food for lunchtime - sometimes just a baggie of chips or a juice box. The 5 of us always “pooled” our lunches and made sure everyone got equal amounts of food from the pool. We did this instinctively. Kids have to be taught to be a-holes.

Load More Replies...
curtiswilford avatar
Mason Kronol
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't understand why this mom didn't at the very least get the school involved and make sure he was getting a free lunch. What did she think this child did on days her son was out sick? Also a lot of schools provide a breakfast before school. And like some people have mentioned it seems pretty obvious the kid is being neglected and the patents need investigated. He needs serious help, not just a meal.

terribauer avatar
terri bauer
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because his parents have to fill out the paper work for free lunch. It’s a federal program that requires paperwork. Try turning someone into DCFS. They figure it out usually. That parent comes after you with a vengeance.

Load More Replies...
nuxevawa avatar
Peter Elder
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Years ago, I was in Peter's situation. A friend would occasionally buy an extra sandwich, but then say he wasn't that hungry, and offer it to me. He was close enough to guess something was wrong at my house because I never had anyone over, but didn't know exactly what was going on. I had previously been in a church-run "children's home" that was worse than going hungry living with my mentally ill single parent. If someone had called CPS, I'd have worried about being sent back to institutional care and may have run away to live on the street. Situations can be complicated and reporting to CPS etc. can have unintended consequences (though I hope things are better now than when I was younger).

jessicaolson avatar
Jessica Olson
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was much the same as my thoughts with all the people jumping straight to cps. If you see injuries ya, but if you have vague suspicions based on the reports of a 12-13 year old, you should at least be investing a little first. Like maybe try being a human and connecting with your child's "best friends" parents. For all she knows the kid did get lunch daily but didn't like it and preferred the food her kid had. I don't know how many days I sent a lunch and my kids brought every single piece of it back home... But after a year the family definitely didn't keep sending unused lunches. A 1 week warning you are stopping the double lunch is both easy and not that expensive.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
happyhirts avatar
Mad Dragon
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My policy is to always feed the hungry kid. I don’t care why they are hungry, I feed the hungry kid. Two pieces of bread with turkey or a yogurt and a banana won’t put you into financial crisis. Report to CPS if you think there is a neglectful situation, but feed the hungry kid in the meantime.

fartingpinwheel avatar
Well-Dressed Wolf
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes! When I was in middle school (late 80s-early 90s), I had a group of friends. There were 5 of us, and two of the kids barely brought any food for lunchtime - sometimes just a baggie of chips or a juice box. The 5 of us always “pooled” our lunches and made sure everyone got equal amounts of food from the pool. We did this instinctively. Kids have to be taught to be a-holes.

Load More Replies...
curtiswilford avatar
Mason Kronol
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't understand why this mom didn't at the very least get the school involved and make sure he was getting a free lunch. What did she think this child did on days her son was out sick? Also a lot of schools provide a breakfast before school. And like some people have mentioned it seems pretty obvious the kid is being neglected and the patents need investigated. He needs serious help, not just a meal.

terribauer avatar
terri bauer
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because his parents have to fill out the paper work for free lunch. It’s a federal program that requires paperwork. Try turning someone into DCFS. They figure it out usually. That parent comes after you with a vengeance.

Load More Replies...
nuxevawa avatar
Peter Elder
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Years ago, I was in Peter's situation. A friend would occasionally buy an extra sandwich, but then say he wasn't that hungry, and offer it to me. He was close enough to guess something was wrong at my house because I never had anyone over, but didn't know exactly what was going on. I had previously been in a church-run "children's home" that was worse than going hungry living with my mentally ill single parent. If someone had called CPS, I'd have worried about being sent back to institutional care and may have run away to live on the street. Situations can be complicated and reporting to CPS etc. can have unintended consequences (though I hope things are better now than when I was younger).

jessicaolson avatar
Jessica Olson
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was much the same as my thoughts with all the people jumping straight to cps. If you see injuries ya, but if you have vague suspicions based on the reports of a 12-13 year old, you should at least be investing a little first. Like maybe try being a human and connecting with your child's "best friends" parents. For all she knows the kid did get lunch daily but didn't like it and preferred the food her kid had. I don't know how many days I sent a lunch and my kids brought every single piece of it back home... But after a year the family definitely didn't keep sending unused lunches. A 1 week warning you are stopping the double lunch is both easy and not that expensive.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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