[Rushtalk] Private solution to school lunch trap of the federal government

Carl William Spitzer IV cwsiv at copper.net
Sat May 17 11:29:19 MDT 2014

-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Jim Henry <jhenry at airpower.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:35:44 -0500 (CDT)

I don't know if it is still true, but 15 years ago when my 
daughters were going through elementary school, their principle 
explained to my wife and I that our school district did not/would 
not accept any federal funds in the school lunch program due to 
the conditions that always came with such assistance.  Instead we 
solved the problem LOCALLY. Understand that we were not a rural or 
an affluent community.  This is the largest first class township 
in PA, bordering Philadelphia, and very diverse with a large 
minority population (and quite urban).  The Principal explained 
that most of the parents who could not afford breakfast and lunch 
for their kids still seemed to be able to afford a couple of 
cartons of cigarettes per week along with a case of beer, 
prompting him to wonder aloud, how does that compare to a loaf of 
bread and jar of peanut butter?

Here is how the problem was solved: each school purchased several 
loaves of bread, jars of peanut butter, jelly, and pounds of 
bologna and American cheese, at negligible cost. Each morning 
volunteers and cafeteria workers made up peanut butter and jelly 
sandwiches, and baloney and cheese sandwiches.  Each school set up 
a "sharing table" in the cafeteria where students were encouraged 
to trade what they brought for lunch (that they did not care for), 
for one of these sandwiches. There was no checking to ensure that 
kids had to leave something to take something, thus ensuring the 
poor kids with no food got fed.  Worked perfectly.

I imagine that successful local efforts like this are the reason 
for new federal efforts trying to ban students from bringing 
"homemade" food to school.

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