Skip to comments.Without paperwork, school lunch free in Boston
Posted on 09/05/2013 6:56:01 AM PDT by kevcol
Boston public schools will begin serving free lunches to all students this school year even if families have the financial means to pay, school officials are expected to announce Tuesday.
The meal program, more than a year in the making, is part of an experimental federal initiative that aims to make it easier for students from low-income families to receive free meals by eliminating the need to fill out paperwork, including potentially invasive questions about income.
Cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago have been or will be participating in the free-meal program. Starting next school year, the program will be open to any school district across the country with high concentrations of students from low-income families. The cost of the free meals will be covered by the federal government.
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonglobe.com ...
Its probably cheaper to just give them all free lunch than it is to keep track of the paperwork to charge them
The cost of the free meals will be covered by the federal government.
Because it might embarrass people if they have to actually fill out paperwork to get free stuff FROM THE HARD-WORKING TAXPAYERS
“Drag everyone down to the bottom because it’s insensitive to do anything that makes moochers feel like they are moochers.”
Another back-door strategy to entice everyone to suck the public teat.
If it’s the same lunches the kids have been rejecting, it’s going in the garbage one way or the other...
Then they will make a big deal about some students “who can afford to pay for the lunches” being cheaters to take the free ones. And send backpacks full of food home with the poor kids on the weekends, because they won’t know where their next meal will come from, at home.
This is a great idea, how about we eliminate paperwork/invasive income questions for taxpayers while we are at it.
I knew there was a catch: the free meals are not free.
I am SOOOO tired of paying for this crap.
When do we say “no more!”?
This has been going on in my district, the LAUSD, in Los Angeles for years. The district got rid of the old meal tickets at the inner-city schools and just fed everyone that showed up — this now includes breakfast and lunch in the summers when schools are closed, no questions asked.
The kids are all getting free lunches (and maybe breakfasts).
But the meals won’t nourish them, because they’re designed by Michelle Hussein obama!!!!
They did this in my elementary school in California in the early 70s. Probably wasn’t a Federal program then, though.
I think it’s possible that total cost would be less this way ... however, the employees who would have been doing the paperwork are still employed: they just have less to do. Maybe there’s some savings in the physical cost of paper, printing, file folders, etc., though.
The government teat, fully funded by us taxpayers, becomes sweeter and bigger.
This madness has GOT to stop!
I can imagine a much better version of this at the state level.
To explain, agribusiness in the US is gigantic, and has been in over-surplus since the turn of the 20th Century, even at the height of the Dust Bowl. And paradoxically, while farmers can be hurt by a bad crop, they can be wiped out by a very good crop.
While the national government spends an enormous amount of money to stabilize farm prices, there has been a slow effort to move back to market forces. But in effect, this means that farmers face greater risks. In either case, an awful lot of food is wasted, or put into expensive storage warehouses for months, and wasted.
So states could aid both their own farmers and schoolchildren, if they were to buy up surplus crops and use them both for school lunches, but mostly as a “bonus” to the poor on food stamps.
Say for example, it has been a very good year for potatoes. The potato farmers in a state have maxed out how many they can sell fresh and for processing, so they have a surplus. The state offers to buy the surplus at a fixed price, “at cost”, so while the farmers don’t really make money on the surplus, they don’t lose money, either.
Then, when a family on food stamps comes in to buy food, the state gives them say 10 pounds of spare potatoes, that don’t count against their food stamps.
Importantly, such produce giveaways will not have much effect on the fresh produce market, as people who buy their own food tend to prefer processed food, only eating a fixed amount of fresh produce.
In my town one person spends a couple of man-months doing qualifications for the whole school district. Kids from families on TANF/SNAP go on free/reduced lunches automatically with next to no time spent on her part. The staff member really isn’t costing much compared to the revenue the district takes in from the paying families.
The cost/benefit would depend on the specific district’s lost revenues vs. actual cost savings.
Communism this is, plain and simple.
That would work if the food-stamp purchasers shop only at special state food-stamp stores. The whole point of food vouchers is that the users make their own decisions about where to shop and what to buy.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Not all retailers participate in food stamps. But for those that do, they could get a rough approximation of potatoes based on how many food stamps they regularly process.
While I agree with you that this won't hurt the fresh produce market, I am in full disagreement with you in regard to who prefers processed food. Per serving, most processed foods are much higher in cost than self prepared so folks buying their own are going to look in that direction first more often than not.
I think that was what I said. People who buy their own food prefer processed food.
What is the tax value of those free breakfasts and lunches?
Somebody call the IRS.
I am saying you are wrong, people buying their own food do not prefer processed food, they prepare it themselves because it costs less than processed food.
Per serving, most processed foods are much higher in cost than self prepared.....
And usually not good for you.
I’ve paid on average around $2,500 a year (for the 11 years I’ve lived at my current house) for school property taxes where I live. I have three kids in school. Why charge ANY student for lunch? Why not just say “let’s make this easy” and say that students eat free. Apartments folks don’t pay those taxes, so the “lower income” folks won’t be paying anyway.
Apartment rents are based on the owners' costs, which include property taxes. Businesses pay property taxes, too, and every time you pay for a product or a service, part of your cost is the business's property tax.
Maybe a more efficient method would be to distribute agricultural surplus to community food banks, based on each organization's number of client households in the previous month.
You've got that right!
Processed foods make up 70 percent of the U.S. diet
Just because you prepare your own food does not mean it is not processed.
“Regardless of race, income or educational levels, the average American spends only .5 percent of their food budget on green leafy vegetables while the USDA recommends more than 15 times that amount. Slightly more than 4 percent of our food purchases are spent on fruit...
“We spend 17 percent of our food shopping dollars on refined grains (more than three times what is recommended). And while the USDA recommends spending less than 1 percent on sugar and candies, most Americans spend closer to 14 percent of their food budget on sweets.”
The bottom line is that all Americans prefer processed foods, but the poor, with just SNAP, cannot afford as much processed foods as do people who buy their own food.
At this time of the year even that percent is high for my household -we grow our own :-)
The bottom line is that all Americans prefer processed foods,
That may very well be true.........
but the poor, with just SNAP, cannot afford as much processed foods as do people who buy their own food.
Hogwash. A family with just SNAP that has children buy far more processed food than those who purchase their own, because they have a higher food budget than those paying for it themselves.
My apologies, I wasn’t clear.
Apartment dwellers do not pay direct property taxes. Just like many things, people do pay indirect taxes. When the trucking company insurance goes up, or gas prices are $4.00 a gallon, the cost to move things goes up. Consumers end up paying for the $4.00 a gallon gas, or the insurance hike, or the new fuel efficient trucks, or whatever.
For a family of four, SNAP maxes out at $668/month, or about $22/day, but averages $489/month, about $16.3/day for four people, or $4/day per person. Importantly, this is across the US, so those who live in lower cost of living areas do much better.
Families do better if their children are infants, as they also can get WIC, which helps them get highly nutritious food for babies.
By comparison it helps if you estimate your own daily food costs.
For about 7 months my family of 3 was receiving $526/month (17.50/day or 5.75/person/day) and I NEVER used that entire amount. There were months when I used less than half of the amount. Of course I took advantage of a little publicized benefit that goes with it - vegetable and herb seeds and plants can be purchased with SNAP benefits. I grew lots of veggies and then canned/preserved/froze. Selling much of that preserved home grown food stuffs was most of the income I was able to contribute to the household at that time, other than when my husband had a painting job that I could help with.
Of course I did that before I was utilizing SNAP and continued to do so after I stopped them.
By comparison it helps if you estimate your own daily food costs.
Which is something I have never done until having this conversation with you, so I did it and come up with an average of $200/month which works out to about $2.22 per day per person and believe me, we eat well.
And it sounds like you used that money very efficiently. But how many other families could make that claim? Especially city dwellers who cannot grow their own crops, and are effectively limited to a single grocery store, however far away from where they live.
You are missing my point altogether. You claimed that people paying for their own food buy more processed food than people on SNAP and that is where I was disagreeing with you.
I never paid much attention until I was using SNAP and more than one cashier (I have mostly shopped in the same supermarket since I moved here 10 years ago and personally know several of them) commented on the frugality of my purchases. So I started paying attention and still do. Without fail, better than 90% of the time you see someone in the store with a cart full of frozen dinners and no fresh produce or meats, they will be paying with an EBT card.
Although I now live in rural VA, I grew up in NYC so I know about only one grocery store in walking distance (my mother didn’t start driving until I was in HS and my dad worked rotating shifts.) I didn’t leave NYC until I was 22, and had long before taken over most of the household (4) shopping and cooking. 31 years later and the frugal lessons learned then have only gotten more frugal.
Yet you miss my point, that those on EBT spend less on food, because they have less to spend, than do people who buy their food. You are arguing percents of what they buy. I am arguing total amounts.
The USDA tracks actual spending (non-EBT) and breaks it down into four categories: thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal. For a family of four, with two kids under age 5, that spending ranges from a “thrifty” $524 per month to a “liberal” $1,014.
That is, on the extreme, two adults with two young children are still spending over a thousand dollars a month. If they were buying produce, they are buying ridiculous amounts of it. But if they are buying processed food, they can easily spend every penny of their budget.
And my point is that you are wrong. People with children on EBT have MORE to spend on food.
I don't care how USDA manipulates their numbers - do you believe the numbers the government puts out about unemployment? If you do, then I understand why you stick by these numbers about SNAP recipients. If you don't, why are you promoting these numbers?