Recently I heard a study about hunger among high school students that disturbed me; but not for the reason you may think. The study reported that up to 30% of high school students in the United States go hungry each day. More alarming than that was the reason for the hunger. The students, whose families are below the federal poverty line, are part of a program that allows them to have free lunch in school. According to the study, those students chose to go hungry rather than eat in the cafeteria where the free lunches are served. Many of their peers, who were not part of the free lunch program, would eat from the school’s store, café, or fast food restaurants. The students on the lunch program stated they were embarrassed to be seen eating in the school cafeteria. Get this though, students whose parents were not U.S. born and who were a part of the free lunch program DO eat the food served in the cafeteria, and report not being embarrassed to do so! I know students sometimes envy the shoes, clothing, and cars of other students, but it broke my heart to realize such a large number of students would CHOOSE to be hungry – but only students of U.S. born parents. It is hard to wrap my mind around why students of U.S. born parents have such a different (and self harming) attitude than those of non-U.S. born parents. Any thoughts? More importantly, any ideas for solutions?