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  • Writer's pictureAnn Rose

The Real Cost of Supporting Our Students

I will be running for a seat on the Ashe County Board of Commissioners in 2024.

To my surprise, I learned that the newly planned Ashe County middle school was not designed with kitchen facilities to feed the students.

One strong initiative we can all support is to bring back kitchens and dining facilities to all newly constructed Ashe County schools.

We need to make sure our students have at least one healthy meal made available to them each school day.

I fully support Ashe County public schools providing free school lunches to students not only this school year, but in the years ahead.

I believe that newly constructed public schools be designed with new kitchen facilities capable of providing at least one well-balanced meal (lunch) each day for all enrolled students. In the larger schools, opportunities may exist to offer limited breakfast items for students who must arrive earlier than others due to working parents who must leave for work extra early and cannot prepare breakfast for their children. 

In my opinion, these changes would be an outstanding opportunity for Ashe County to become a recognized leader in its support of proper child nutrition. As a future member of the Ashe County Board of Commissioners, I will propose that full kitchen facilities be integrated into the building plans for the new county middle school scheduled for construction soon. Children cannot learn if they’re going hungry during the school day.

The school kitchen could also double as a classroom for culinary training of high school students.

Several culinary graduates from Ashe County public schools have gone on to open restaurants in the county and credit the culinary program for its inspiration and training.

For those who would complain about the costs of such a proposal, I would counter there would be a much greater cost due to lost learning opportunities, increased healthcare costs due to malnutrition, and increased poverty because students were unable to learn and

advance in life simply because they did not eat well. Also, beefing up students’ culinary training opportunities within the school system would help feed the restaurant workforce we so desperately need to support the tourism industry in Ashe County.

We have a real opportunity to make a difference in the future lives of our children.

Lift them up and broaden their chances of success by feeding them healthy, wholesome food.

A well-fed mind is a stronger, healthier mind.

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1 Comment

Beth Sorrell
Beth Sorrell
Jan 09

With the poor state of health in Ashe County, I can't believe they would build a school without at full kitchen. I agree that we need to be the model county for healthy meals in schools. The learning opportunities make it a win-win. How can our county be so short-sighted and cheap??

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