Mom Learns Son’s Classmate Feeds on Kids’ Leftovers for Lunch, Decides to Hold a Parent Meeting — Story of the Day
A woman is saddened to learn about her son's classmate feeding on other kids' leftovers and decides to do something about it.
Courtney Johnson arrived at her son Peter's school just in time and immediately recognized him amid the mass of students spilling through the front gate. Peter dashed up to their car, climbed inside, and she assisted him in fastening his seatbelt.
"So how was your day at school today, Peter? Did you have fun?" she asked as they left for home.
"Umm…it was okay, mom," Peter sighed. "I'm starving! Can we please stop by McDonald's on our way home?"
Courtney learned Peter's classmate was eating leftovers at school. | Source: Shutterstock
"Hungry?" Courtney paused. "Didn't you have lunch at school today? Or wait, is it an excuse for chicken nuggets? Not again, Peter! Should I ask Mrs. Dickens if you had lunch today?"
"No, mom! Don't do that! I'm actually starving. I would have eaten at the cafeteria, but I had to give my food to Aiden because he was hungry. He's my classmate, by the way. And nobody is supposed to know that I helped him, please!"
"What?" Courtney frowned, abruptly halting the car. "But everyone gets their separate meal at school, Peter. Why did you give yours to him?"
"Aiden doesn't eat with us, mom," Peter revealed. "He says his mom can't pay for his lunch. I see him every day; he waits until everyone has finished eating, and then..."
Peter revealed Aiden would wait for everyone to finish their meals so he could eat their leftovers. | Source: Pexels
"He hides in the playground and eats leftovers so that others don't see him. I found him there one day and then he told me everything. He asked me not to tell anyone because he thought everyone would laugh at him. Today we had gym class, so everyone was really hungry and finished their meals. I knew Aiden wouldn't have anything to eat, so I offered my portion to him. I asked my friends to help him too. So they shared their food with him too."
Courtney was happy that her son was kind enough to help a needy classmate, but she wondered what went wrong with Aiden's mom that Aiden had to get by with the leftovers at school. When they got home that day, she called Peter's teacher to find out more about Aiden.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Dickens. I hope you're all good. Actually, I just wanted to ask something about Aiden. He's Peter's classmate, right? Peter was telling me Aiden has some financial problems. Is there anything I could do to help him?"
"Oh, that's very generous of you, Mrs. Johnson. Aiden is a very talented child, one of the brightest, I would say…However, things aren't going so well for him on the family front. His mother is having a terrible time with her husband."
"Oh, dear…No wonder! I'm sorry that I am asking this, Mrs. Dickens…I shouldn't really be getting into their family issues, but what's the matter exactly? Peter told me—"
Courtney spoke to Mrs. Dickens about Aiden's situation. | Source: Pexels
"They're divorced, Mrs. Johnson. Aiden's mother is a single parent... But there's an alimony issue, and she has a sick mother, so things are a total mess…."
"I see…" Courtney felt awful for Aiden's situation and told Mrs. Dickens about how he'd been struggling to eat lunch at school. Courtney wanted to do something to help him. And then she thought of a plan…
"Mrs. Dickens," she cried cheerfully. "Can you do me a small favor?"
Sometimes the younger heads end up teaching a valuable lesson to elders.
"Is it conceivable to conduct a meeting with all parents of Aiden and Peter's classmates? I'd like to talk to them about something… I just had this idea to help Aiden…."
Mrs. Dickens paused for a while. "Well, I believe we'd need permission from the principal, but then it's not really an official thing like that... I can just claim I needed to hold a meeting, so that's fine. How soon do you want to do it?"
"I believe the day after would be good, Mrs. Dickens. We need to notify all of the parents."
Courtney came up with a plan to help Aiden. | Source: Pexels
"I'll take care of that… So I will see you the day after tomorrow, Mrs. Johnson."
"Thank you very much, Mrs. Dickens; one more thing, please..."
"The parents should think it's you who are asking for a meeting. It would be more effective that way."
"Thank you, Mrs. Dickens!" Courtney said and hung up.
A day later, when they all gathered, Mrs. Dickens briefed them about Aiden's situation, but she didn't disclose his name to prevent the boy from being unfairly attacked. The parents calmly listened, but when Mrs. Dickens unleashed the final section of her talk, a flood of emotions, primarily rage, began pouring in.
"So? What exactly do you want us to do?" a woman scoffed. "If a parent cannot provide meals for their children, they should not be sending them to school."
Some parents were downright mean. | Source: Pexels
"Well, ma'am," Mrs. Dickens said. "All I'm asking is that we be a little generous to the boy and assist him. The poor child has been eating leftovers from the cafeteria. One of his classmates saw him doing so."
"Who was the one who saw him? And if he's that concerned about his friend, why doesn't he ask his parents to pay for his meals?" a man lashed out.
"I'm afraid I can't reveal the identity, sir. I'm sorry. If you do not wish to—" Before Mrs. Dickens could complete her sentence, Courtney sprang up to her feet.
"My son saw him doing that! And it's quite horrible that you adults don't see how terrible that is!"
Aiden's mother was also present at the meeting, sitting in a corner, hiding her tears when she realized everyone was talking about her son.
"Well, then, go ahead and help him!" hissed the man.
Courtney took a stand for Aiden. | Source: Pexels
"Of course, I will, sir, but before that, you guys need to know the whole truth. A young boy's family is going through a financial crunch, and he doesn't even have money to afford a meal! Do you realize how terrible this whole thing is? A child is not able to get food! A necessity! Just imagine if it was your child who was hungry and had no means to eat. You'd blame yourself for being a terrible parent and ruining your child's life."
"I understand that sometimes circumstances force us. We have no control over them. But please try to understand what we're talking about here: A 4th grader waits for his classmates to leave the cafeteria after eating to fill his stomach! And he hides and eats them so that other kids don't mock him!
"And what are you doing in the meantime? You guys are busy judging him and his family! You know what, your children are way better than you all! They often share their food with him and help him. Just goes to show you how the younger generation can be far more mature than their elders!
"We have two options to resolve this conflict: continue with judgmental discussions or take a step forward and help him in a way that does not jeopardize his or his parents' dignity. All I ask is that you all pay a modest amount, whatever you can so that we can help him." With that, Courtney opened her wallet, took out two $100 bills, and placed them on Mrs. Dickens' table.
Courtney made a generous donation for Aiden. | Source: Pexels
The whole room was silent. But soon after, a round of applause erupted, and the parents began leaving money on the table one by one. A few parents did leave the hall without donating, but that was okay because they managed to gather a sum to cover Aiden's lunch expenses until the end of the school year.
As Courtney was about to get into her car outside the school gate, Aiden's mom met her and thanked her for her help. She admitted that she felt bad about the whole incident and knew what was going on, but she didn't have the means to help her kid. Courtney reassured her that everything was okay.
Two days later, when Peter came home from school, he had BIG NEWS! "Mom, mom!" he said, running up to her. "Aiden is eating with us now! He doesn't need to eat leftovers anymore. His mom told him that you helped him. You're so cool, mom!"
Courtney smiled at him. "That's great, honey. I'm glad Aiden is happy now."
What can we learn from this story?
- Be kind to others and assist those in need. The way Peter and Courtney helped Aiden is a beautiful example of this.
- Sometimes the younger heads end up teaching a valuable lesson to elders. Peter's selfless deed of assisting a fellow classmate was really brilliant. We should all try to be like him.
- Be a positive role model for your children, as Courtney did by assisting Aiden and his mother.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a poor mom who buys two broken armchairs at a flea market and finds a strange envelope inside it.
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