Johnna Russell

Johnna is a writer and editor with a deep love and respect for the beauty, magic, and mystery of the great state of New Mexico. Johnna grew up right on the border between New Mexico and West Texas. Her favorite childhood memories are of frequent visits to Carlsbad Caverns. She enjoys learning all she can about this breathtaking state and sharing information with other lovers of New Mexico.


  1. Rick Edwards
    May 5, 2017 @ 7:03 pm

    This is an excellent article. Under no circumstances should schools shame their kids for not having enough money on their lunch accounts.


  2. Mari Lynn Van Ginkel
    May 6, 2017 @ 1:46 pm

    I have distInct memories of First grade in NM where every morning my classmates were handed out a small carton of milk and something to go with it. I was not one of them. How my hungry tummy ached! Throughout my school years I often didn’t have lunch money. I grew up thin. In high school when I occasionally had to walk home a few miles, I remember being near faint from being so hungry. I pray no child should have to go through such hunger pains, let alone the humiliation.


  3. Jennifer
    May 7, 2017 @ 12:23 am

    Finding fault with having to mop floors or wash tables to earn lunch? This is called working for something. Working for lunch was an option provided for me as a child so I could eat. My brothers did as well and none of us have been ill affected by it. My own children too had the option – in their school it was seen as a privilege and I suspect the kids who really needed the free lunch still got it. As stated, some schools handle this appropriately. It’s an opportunity for learning. I’m not sure common sense can be legislated.


  4. Cordelia
    May 31, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

    Call it whatever you want, but as a Native American, I & my sisters (didn’t qualify for J&O free school lunches) worked in an elementary school cafeteria wearing hairnets serving students during school lunch, eating afterwards, sometimes drinking canned fruit juice because there was no more milk. We were paid about $5 a week for our work because my parents who both worked (1950s) to raise a large family, didn’t qualify for government benefits. In high school we carried our lunch to school or worked in the cafeteria again to earn our school lunches. Later we worked with higher pay in a nearby Eat N Go during school lunch time, ate our “free” delicious sandwiches as we rushed back to our afternoon classes. I thought I was luckier than those students that got free school lunches who didn’t get a chance to work to get (delicious lunches) & get paid spending money at such a early age. All or my 11 sibs went on to higher education some with professional jobs. We were taught to work hard to take care of ourselves & others who couldn’t help themselves. I became an occupational therapist & expect the same work ethic from my clients from infants to elders so they can become as independent as possible in all areas of their life. “Free” stuff or services given to people can sometimes become a handicap that leads people not to discover their strengths to help themselves!


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