Do you eat lunch with your friends? Do you ever see kids eating alone? Do some kids feel left out at lunch? There is a national program your school can join: No One Eats Alone. It involves kids eating with one another. We are not saying that you have to be best friends with everyone, but let kids join you and your friends at your table.

The No One Eats Alone program was formed for a child named Lili Smith. She suffered from medical complications and died at the age of 15. During lunch, she always ate by herself. Even her friends didn’t sit with her. Every day she would call her mom in tears because she had to sit alone. After her death, her friends were remorseful about how they had treated her. They vowed never to treat anyone like that again and they created No One Eats Alone.

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We interviewed our principal, Peter Osroff, and we asked him some questions about the program. He told us that this is the first year of the program. He said, “I feel that it is very important to include everyone. The No One Eats Alone program is a great program and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

We also interviewed Jennifer Pollack, the creator of Garden City Middle School’s No One Eats Alone program. She said, “The program is about students not judging other students and accepting each other in the lunchroom for who they are as individuals.” She added that teachers go around to the tables during lunch time and observe who might be isolated.

As kids, we know how it feels to be left out. Everyone wants to be included and to make new friends. So please ask kids who might be sitting alone at lunch if they want to sit with you. Try to get your school in the No One Eats Alone program. Go online: nooneeatsalone.org