Skip to comments.National School Lunch Program Embarrassment Continues
Posted on 04/13/2014 1:03:17 PM PDT by neverdem
The USDA has managed to make school lunches stink even more. So why does the government continue?
>School lunches still stink. But now unprecedented numbers of students are refusing to eat them.
Last month I noted that a GAO report had found that last school year's disastrous rollout of the updated USDA National School Lunch Program helped drive 1.6 million paying students from the lunch rolls. The new rules led some schools to abandon the program, as I reported in 2012. What's more, the new rules, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, have also resulted in unprecedented mountains of food waste.
As I also noted last month, the federal government has decided that these abject failures are evidence of a need to double down on the school lunch program. Why scrap a failing program when you can expand it instead?
The expansion, which will impact more than 20,000 school across the country, reports the Washington Post, "will provide free breakfast and lunch to all students in schools where at least 40 percent of the children are low-income."
That change is intended "to increase participation in the free meals program and to relieve the paperwork burden on schools," reports the Post.
Apparently there's no federal paperwork requirement related to the even greater mountain of food waste caused by the policy change.
Kids are protesting with their mouths. They're opting out of school lunches and throwing away food they don't want to eat. But they're also fighting back with their minds.
Student protests over the school lunches have played out on social media now for more than two school-calendar years. While early 2012 saw students at one high school create the well-known "We are Hungry" video, recent protests have centered around Twitterand targeted Mrs. Obama by name.
A clever recent Twitchy expose compiled student ire over school lunches. The report shows one student lashing out at Mrs. Obama over the "crusty ass broccoli" their school served. Another student tweeted that they would "never forgive Michelle Obama for this school lunch."
These problems with the National School Lunch Program have been so bad that even the mainstream media has been forced to take note.
The Los Angeles Times blasted the National School Lunch Program earlier this week in a pointed editorial.
"The program, pushed by the Obama administration and passed by Congress, is afflicted by rigid, overreaching regulations that defy common sense," wrote the Times editors.
"[F]ruits and vegetables rank as the least popular items, so requiring schools to offer one of each for each student practically guarantees that an enormous amount of fruits and vegetables will go to waste.
"Even worse are the rules about what kinds of produce must be offered and in what form," writes the Times. "They make it nearly impossible, for example, to hide the vegetables in soups or lasagna, where they might be more palatable to students."
The National School Lunch Program wastes money. It wastes food. Parents, students, advocates, and the government all know this. Solving the problem meansat the leastshrinking the program dramatically. The government's efforts to pad school lunch enrollment numbers by expanding the program should be seen as what it is: a cynical attempt to avoid admitting failure. There's nothing palatable about that.
What really is the worst case is that if kids start bringing their lunches from home, it has been documented in a few cases that their lunches are seized and thrown away because they are not participating, and the schools do promote the peer pressure factor in making those kids feel guilty about bringing their own lunches...
I believe there are a few discussion threads here on FR to illustrate this overstepping by your government and its lackeys...
It seems to me everything the Obama’s touch turns into absolute garbage. I’ve never seen anything like it. I really feel sorry for the school kids who just might have to eat those meals because there isn’t anything else for them. I venture to say that the Obama’s will be like the Clintons and Jimmy Carter, they will never go away.
I’m not. if anything helps these kids rebel against their liberal publi indoctrination center brainwashing, it may well be this. It is extremely personal to each of them.
One ghastly vegetable we called “turnip greens” was served every Tuesday and Thursday.
95% of the kids wouldn't touch it.
Parents finally came in with a local news team and filmed the trash cans overflowing with this stuff.
Leftists don’t think the school lunches are nearly healthy enough and they joke that pizza is counted as a vegetable
That change is intended to increase the amount of funds being siphoned off by Obama cronies who get the school lunch contracts and administer the program(s)...............
This can become a generational cash cow once implemented and will make Hillary's 6 Billion skimming operation from the State Department look like small potatoes...........
Sadly, this school lunch program controversy can be resolved in the minute or two that it takes to review Congress's constitutional Article I, Section 8-limited powers. More specifically, Section 8's silence about intrastate schools not only indicates that Congress has no constitutional authority to decide policy for such schools, but regardless what FDR's activist justices wanted everybody to think concerning the scope of Congress Commerce Clause powers, school lunches clearly intrastate commerce imo, Constitution-respecting justices had prevously officially clarified that Congress has no constitutional authority to regulate intrastate commerce.
State inspection laws, health laws, and laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c. are not within the power granted to Congress. (emphases added) Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.
And speaking of Constitution-ignoring FDR, he is evidently the president who signed the bill for Public Law 320 which established the National School Lunch Act.
And let's remind ourselves that since Congress has no Section 8 authority to legislatively address what goes on in public schools, that Justice John Marshall had officially clarified in general that Congress has no constitutional authority to lay taxes in the name of subsidizing things like school lunches.
Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. Justice John Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.
So patriots who want their children to have free school lunches need to work with their state lawmakers to stop Congress from laying taxes for such purposes. Such revenues should remain in the states so that the states can exersise their 10th Amedment-protected power to manage free school lunches without Congress's "help."
Finally, patriots have to be on their guard concerning corrupt politians who get themselves elected to federal office by promising entitlement programs in order to win votes from low-information voters. Again, Justice Marshall's statement clarified that Congress doesn't have the constitutional authority to throw taxpayer dollars at intrastate issues.
There are already school districts in Chicago that simply forbid sack lunches. That is the direction schools will go, they won’t even bother with the “peer pressure” route.
Why use pressure and persuasion when you can just use brute force?
Maybe the food stamp program could go to serving these same meals instead of giving out cards, and it would promote jobs....real demands to go to work and get their own groceries.
I remember a decade later the school mac n cheese that was actually pretty good. There was better balance in school lunches then. There were some areas of the country that used their budgets better than others, and although the food was not always from ‘scratch’, it was not that bad in my area.
I guess the bigger issue is WHY is there a National Lunch Program?
What overreach! This is a town and district issue, certainly not a federal issue.
All the American people know about garbage is to set out their can every Monday morning.
Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Alger, R-TX, whom I think is still living, was one of the few ever to challenge the premise of the program. LBJ finished him off in the 1964 general election. Alger once defeated a Democrat named Henry Wade of Roe v. Wade.
I remember my parents having me take the lunch program one year at my grade school back in the sixties. The food was so horrible (they had “peanut butter” that looked and tasted like industrial sludge) that I was overjoyed when the principal told me I lived too close to school (one mile) to take the program. You wouldn’t believe the slop they served at those school lunches. Boy was I happy to run one mile home to eat my mother’s lunches.
any food refused by the students should be immediately donated to local food kitchens...Salvation Army, whatever. they will willingly eat the stuff....
“What Michelle meant was that you could keep your old school lunch menu unless we went ahead and changed it.”
What I meant was there is, in some cases a progression from the folks whose efforts are to nanny state every single part of your day from birth to grave will employ every idea they can to accomplish the goal of a totally dependent and compliant population...
I guess this reminds people of a destructive concept...
But I dunno...
I think people are more inclined to worry about things that do not remind them of how precarious their freedoms and liberties are...
The article misses the point
Veggies for kid’s lunches is not for the kids but to enrich the veggie brokers selling veggies to the schools.
Our grand daughter now takes her lunch. In her case, the school asked us to please do that. She wouldn’t eat breakfast or lunch. When she didn’t eat she was grumpy, and the teachers couldn’t cope.
I didn’t really have any trouble getting her to eat, she just had to pick something she could and would eat from each food group. When she finished eating the balanced meal, her reward was dessert.
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Once a week, we had an especially good lunch with chicken or turkey, and gravy, homemade rolls, green beans mashed potatoes and homemade cinnamon rolls. That was Thursday.
Friday was fish day, and we usually had mac and cheese to go with that. I can't remember now what they had if you didn't eat the fish, but they did have a choice.
I was a rather picky eater too. I didn't like all the stuff, but could always find enough that was good to eat.
I didn't like the peanut butter they had, so I always chose the cheese sandwich to go along with my chili.
The GOP should come in on the side of kids... we could request that children of conservative parents be allowed to eat normal food... pizza, burgers, tacos... If parents are overly concerned they can give their kids wheat germ for breakfasts or boiled Brussels sprouts... whatever...
After fifty years the vile smell of most of that food still lingers in my nostrils. I still can’t smell canned green beans without getting nauseous.
I am glad that our school’s cooks prepared decent meals!
I do understand about avoiding stuff for decades. I happened to get food poisoning at a greasy spoon - hot dogs.
I always loved hot dogs or chili dogs before that. Just the smell of a hot dog made me nauseous for at least 45 years, sure couldn’t eat one.
This is entirely consistent with the mindset of big government types.
Private enterprise, which is responsible for showing results and making a profit, measures success by measuring actual results.
Government, which wouldn't recognize success if it were dumped in a tank full of it, measures success by inputs...how much money have we spent?
If it didn't work, we obviously didn't spend enough money!
So doubling down on failure is predictable.