Why all Richmond students will score free breakfasts, lunches

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RICHMOND,Va. -- Richmond Public Schools is implementing free breakfasts and lunches for all students regardless of their income this year.

That's because 78 percent of children enrolled in the school system are eligible for free or reduced meals.

It is part of a federal program to keep kids healthy by requiring them to eat fruits, veggies, whole grains and milk.

"We know that a hungry child cannot learn," RPS School Nutrition Director Susan Roberson told CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones.

Roberson said the school system was actually losing money by making parents go through the application process.

"With applications not being completed by some parents.... students were still coming to school with an eligibility of being able to pay because of no application on file -- but no money in hand," Roberson explained.

Roberson said RPS has been serving students healthy food choices for the past four years, but admitted that some kids did waste food.

"I think the more that we encourage students to just select what they would like. Try new things, provide them with taste testing opportunities, so that they can try things before they select it, I think that we'll see the waste go down," said Roberson.

Richmond school leaders said students will be offered five food items from the menu, but will only be required to eat three which include fruits and vegetables.

That means any extra food from the a la carte menu, students will have to pay out-of-pocket.

Chesterfield mom Angela Couch said she is satisfied with her child's school lunches, but would like to see healthier food choices.

Her daughters received reduced cost meals in school in last year and Couch admitted that the program could be a bit better.

In fact, her daughter said that she has seen some children waste food.

"Some throw out their whole lunch and some barely like eat it," Iyonna Bellany said.

Couch now hopes that Chesterfield and Henrico counties will also implement the federal program.

"I'm all for it. I think it's good because some times kids go to school [and] that's the only meal that's provided for them at school," Couch said.

However, Henrico and Chesterfield do not participate in the program.


  • Ron Melancon

    Just who is paying for all of this free stuff? The school lunch some days are horrible. Henrico should not follow the lead. If we want to pack a better lunch for our kids that taste better than I don’t want the Feds we can’t do it. I have eaten some of these lunches and they don’t fill me up.

    • Gregor

      Strange that you would want MORE children to be raised by the state, Manalishi. Maybe your asinine philosophy on life has finally fallen-in upon itself. Perhaps now we’ll see you volunteer some of your time to help out your community that instead of trolling CBS 6 commentary? Nah…I’m sure we’ll read your impotent words for ages to come.

      • Linda

        All I have to say is if one school district is going to do, then all of them need to!!! Sick of certain areas always getting free food and other areas doing without. People struggle financially in the outlying Counties too but look at the dollar amounts you have to be below in Henrico versus Petersburg and the City. Many children are going hungry in all counties so ALL counties need to do this!!

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      My grandmother raised me because my mother died in a freak boat accident when I was 3 months old. My father then became a drunk and and a drug addict for whatever reason. My grandma was old and disabled. Not everyone’s situation allows for the blessings others take for granted.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Broadcasting your private live on here for sympathy really shows you have no other argument supporting this. Other than “Some people be poor@!!”. Well, some people who aren’t don’t want to feed those who are. You’re born into this world alone, you die alone, you need to learn how to take care of yourself alone!

        Insulting me personally will just support my argument that you have no real argument.

  • Robbie

    Let’s teach our children early that the government is here to take care of you and your 7 brothers and 8 sisters until you turn 16 and quit the 4th grade.

  • Jacky

    Oh so it’s FREE and you still complain about it. How about this, take care of your own kids or stop having them. I can’t believe you people bite the hand that feeds you, you could’ve just said THANKS!!

  • John

    Thanks……………how about the FREE summer blast that Henrico offers every summer. I am sorry, last time I checked I had to pay for my child’s summer care because my JOB has me employed between the hours of 8-430. So I have to use my taxes to cover the summer blast camp for the kids whose parents sit at home between the hours of 9-2 and get FREE camp. Something is wrong with this summer blast camp Henrico, fix it.

    • Linda

      I live in Henrico and WORK and the Summer Blast does nothing for so I pay daycare. If this bothers you, have someone pick the child up and keep them a couple hours everyday. Nothing anyone does anymore is appreciated and just have a thank you thrown out there. You make em, you pay for em just like my husband and I do without a handout from the Government!!!!

  • RITA

    It’s not the kids fault, they didnt ask to be here. Although I’ve paid for my child’s lunch since she been in school and they feed the kids the same old food everyday. I’m not in the city but the county food is no better. Glad to see they will not see any child hungary

  • tim

    you feed your whities too off YOUR tax dollars (however much that is…im pretty sure someone of your knowledge level doesnt get paid much, if you do im pretty sure it was a “handout because im white position”…remember more of your peeps are on food stamps/welfare than blacks. blue eyed white devil you!

    • B Addy

      Although I don’t agree with Tom’s choice of words, The %’s tell a much different story. Obviously there are more whites on welfare. Blacks only make up 14% of the population. They are collecting welfare at a MUCH higher rate than white’s . It’s also what makes the crime #’s so appalling when 50+ % of crime comes from only 14% of the population.

  • mbaker9105

    It’s all just too confusing. Just up the freakin’ taxes and include a lunch since we have to pay for it one way or the other. And enough with all these food choices. Maybe some of us are just too old to be hip, but just have set meals for each day of the week. Wednesday is chili-mac day, etc. If you don’t like that, then pack your kid a lunch which was done for decades. What happened to the brown bag with the ‘lony and cheese sammich, banana, etc.? The Also, many of these folks who qualify also are already receiving food stamps or whatever it’s called now. Does the school feed your kids on the weekend? I don’t think so. Get up, fix them breakfast, shoo them out the door with a packed lunch (or eat lunch at school). I personally would rather my kids eat what I give them, these kitchens sanitary conditions are based on the schools staff cleaning them and periodic inspections, I’ll just won’t even get into that. It just amazes me the human race has survived so long.

  • KG

    School lunches are horrible, I remember when they baked their own rolls and you actually got a lunch that was enjoyable, of course that was before someone decided that we weren’t competent enough to decide what to feed our own children. Thank goodness we have those folks in Wahington to tell us what we should be doing!! Maybe if the parents took away the electronic babysitters and actually got the children to go out and play we wouldn’t have so many “fat kids”.

  • Becky

    It is Dictated… Federal, State and Local Taxes will be Directly Targeted for Forward Democratic Mandates/Agendas, Exclusively. Federal WH Royality Distaff so orders. So Ordered, so Done.

  • Becky

    The new era Federal Government Dictates that all child rearing is now the Responsibility of the Tax Payers and Not The Parents.
    Seems as though all the local, state, and federal overlapping Government Programs have FAILED. Seems as though all the specifically set up Democratic Tax Exempt/Special Interests;
    subsidizing, bolstering, shoring up and financing the failures have also FAILED.
    Forward to Dictate.
    The War on Poverty, food stamps, WIC, public housing, welfare, aid and assistance, etc.
    WERE NOT Established or Expected to provide “parents” with an actual means
    “help” feed, clothe, support, house and CARE their own children… after all. Another Fraud.

  • Becky

    It think this is called the very, very, very LONG, perpetual total care, CON.
    Didn’t it start with FDR’s New Deal in the 30s, LBJ’s Great Society in the 60s, and been getting
    “Progressively” worse ever since; with NO solve, no remedy, no help, no “Hope for Change”?

  • Becca

    For those who have made the negative comments, I hope that nothing happens to you and your families need the programs that you are so against. There are not only people who don’t want to work that benefit from these programs. There are seniors who take care of grandchildren because the parents died. There are veterans who are no longer able to work because of the horrors of war they can’t bounce back from with children. There are workers who have gotten injuries that can’t make ends meet off of workers comp alone. Not to metion your neighborhood walmart or McDonald’s worker that work 40 hours a week that still qualify for the assistance. People like you are one accident away from the same line these people are in. Smh

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