Yesterday’s U.K. Daily Mail reported that since Michelle Obama has overhauled the school lunch program, more than 1 million students have stopped buying school lunches. This has happened despite the fact that the number of students who receive free, taxpayer-subsidized lunches has risen sharply.
The article reports:
The Government Accountability Office, a watchdog agency inside the federal government, told members of Congress in a little-noticed January 28 report that participation in the school lunch program declined by 1,086,000 in that one year, the biggest drop on record.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revise its school lunch standards to bring them in line with a new set of nutrition requirements.
The first lady rolled out the law’s final regulations in January 2012 with a presentation linked to her ‘Let’s Move!‘ children’s health initiative. Changes took effect that fall. In the ensuing nine months, 33 states cited ‘challenges with palatability – food that tasted good to students’ as one reason sales tumbled.
It is not news to any parent that an unsupervised child is not going to eat food he does not like. If Mrs. Obama truly wanted to end childhood obesity, she might begin with food processors who infuse everything we eat with additives and high fructose corn syrup. Going back to more natural food with less additives and bringing recess, tag, and dodge ball back to our schools might be a more successful approach.
A website sponsored by the North Carolina Civitas Institute posted a story today about a Pre-K program in West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford where all of the students’ lunches were inspected by a government inspector for content.
One child was allowed to eat the lunch her mother had packed but was given cafeteria food because the lunch did not meet the inspector’s standard. The child’s lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips. The nutrition standards for pre-K lunch require milk, two servings of fruit or vegetable, bread or grains and a meat or meat alternative.
The article explains:
The mother says the girl was so intimidated by the inspection process that she was too scared to eat all of her homemade lunch. The girl ate only the chicken nuggets provided to her by the school, so she still didn’t eat a vegetable.
The mother says her daughter doesn’t like vegetables and – like most four year olds – will only eat them at home under close supervision.
The article reports:
The government inspector was from the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised program at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The program gives schools a grade based on standards that include USDA meal guidelines enforced by the N.C. Division of Early Childhood Development.
The nutrition standards for pre-K lunch require milk, two servings of fruit or vegetable, bread or grains and a meat or meat alternative. The school didn’t receive a high grade from the January assessment because the home-made lunches didn’t meet those guidelines. The mother points out the only thing on that list her daughter’s home lunch didn’t have was milk, so she doesn’t understand why the girl was given a complete school meal as a supplement.
When did any state or federal government get the right to go through a four-year old’s lunch bag. What constitution gives this authority? This is obscene!