SAN DIEGO — A San Diego mother is calling for longer lunchtimes to keep kids from going hungry and to cut down on waste.
Andrea Cameron says she volunteers in her child’s elementary school and noticed last week that her child was going to throw away most of her meal to head out to recess before finishing all of her food.
"When I saw my daughter and a bunch of other kids throwing away a good 80% of their lunch last Thursday that kind of struck a cord with me," she said.
She doesn’t want to single out her child’s school but believes longer lunchtimes is a district-wide concern. Cameron started an online petition to extend lunch times to at least 30 minutes.
Many bell schedules posted online show 30-40 minutes are allocated for lunch, but Cameron says "in reality it's 20 minutes for lunch, 20 minutes for recess, and it is kids is standing in line say, ten minutes to get their lunch. That means in reality they've only got ten minutes to eat. It is a districtwide issue."
A spokesperson for the San Diego Unified School District says since 2011, it has distributed 4,631,790 meals through its partner Feeding San Diego. Since 2016, through the Love Food Not Waste program 402,333 meals were provided to those facing hunger, 482,799 pounds of food were kept out of landfills, 262,160 pounds of carbon emissions were kept out of the atmosphere.
Andrea Cameron hopes to present the petition to the school board at its next meeting.
"If you want to make the change, you need to be the one to make the change," she said.