Republicans love to attack social programs. By doing the unthinkable, like taking free school lunches away from millions of children, they get to appear tough to the socially conservative jerks who vote for them. Those kids didn’t earn those lunches, why should they get to eat them? Some Republicans have actually suggested making poor kids work in the cafeteria to teach them some personal responsibility. Mind you, these are…children. They have zero control over the environment they live in. To Republicans, simply being born into poverty is near-criminal.
It’s no wonder that a program enacted at a desperate time in our recovery has come under fire, even though it continues to do good. 3.4 million students from 7700 schools will lose their free lunch eligibility not because they aren’t in need, but because they may not all be in need. The program aimed to provide lunches to every student at any school whose poverty rate exceeds 40 percent. The 7700 hundred schools who qualified will now have to revert to free lunch applications, the administration involved and the social stigma of free lunch lines or vouchers.
The program, which works just fine because every kid eats, was scrapped because we shouldn’t be paying for that kid whose parents make $14 above the poverty line. If you have three children and they all eat breakfast and lunch it equals roughly $60 per week, depending on where you live. That’s a devastating number for a family who will have a hard enough time adding brown paper bags and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to their already tight budget.
When congress approved the Healthy Hungry Kids Act of 2010, the focus was to not only make sure that the 15 million kids whose school lunch is their only reliable source of food throughout the week get to eat, but to make sure foods served to children had a certain amount of fruits, vegetables and grains as well. The legislation was championed by Michelle Obama, who has been a steady advocate for healthy eating during her time in the White House. Conservatives hate her for it, taking pictures of half-eaten lunches with just a piece of bologna on a block of cornbread labeled, “Thanks, Moochelle,” because stupid people think they’re clever. These are a couple of the ridiculous things the right called a “Michelle Obama school lunch”
And then there’s this one:
What’s amazing is that whether you’re spreading down the rice from your nachos or enchiladas that were on the side of the tray you didn’t show, along with what was probably some nice pico de gallo, lettuce and maybe even some guacamole. The cheeseburger definitely came with some fixin’s as well, and may have even been a veggie burger. We know that because we know what a school lunch actually looks like in the real world today, and unless your school or their staff are cutting corners, shipping good food out the side door or are just really terrible at serving food, the federal guidelines were to ensure that schools were funded to serve the kinds of fruits and vegetables kids will eat. Here’s an example of an actual elementary school lunch:
Now that the standards are in place and kids are enjoying their school lunches, it’s time for the lazy little freeloaders to move along back to straight carbs and sugar on white bread served at hallway locker temperature. Republicans truly have no shame. There was nothing…nothing else that could have been cut besides free food for children? Call it superfluous, say we’re giving it away to the kids who really don’t need it. Who cares. Kids get food. If you have to justify it, tell yourself that the money the kids who don’t need free lunches will save will trickle down into the local economy and create more jobs and opportunity than we know what to do with.
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