Bad Week For Michelle’s School Lunch Program

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Few things as seemingly innocuous as Michelle Obama’s school lunch initiative have attracted this amount of political scorn. While conservatives support the idea of getting America’s children out of this obesity spiral, it’s obvious that the Democrats are going about it the wrong way. A few stories this week have shed some light on just why these programs are so bad for the country.

The first, and perhaps most important, news comes from the School Nutrition Association. According to their numbers, the cost of meeting the new federal nutrition standards will triple in 2015. The USDA has released estimates that puts $1.22 billion worth of food, labor, and administrative costs on local school systems over the next year. This is after all the subsidies and grants are spoken for, meaning these standards are going to cost the states a fortune to keep up with the program.

These numbers are in stark contrast to the way it’s been sold by the White House. Going by federal propaganda, one would be led to believe that these initiatives will cost school districts nothing out of pocket. They will, in fact, be a boon for local education, as participation in the program is supposed to unlock federal dollars. Now it appears that it will be a net financial loss all the way around. Who would have thought?

These costs might have been excused if we had any proof at all that the programs were having the intended effect. Unfortunately, all they seem to be doing is turning kids off buying their lunch. A ruckus was raised in Pleasanton, Texas this week when parents responded to a lunch picture from the local school district.

“They hardly get any food at all,” one parent told the local news. “I was outraged when I saw that picture – I just didn’t even know what to say.”

Other parents complained that their teens were heading straight for the snacks when they arrived home from school, trying to make up for the calories they weren’t getting from lunch. Under these programs, of course, it isn’t just the obese kids being force-fed salads and carrots. At a time when the majority of kids need a surplus of calories just to keep up with their busy lifestyles, athletic requirements, and normal human growth, they are being restricted like adult dieters.

In North Tonawanda, NY, the school district itself is unhappy about the mandated changes. Tonawanda School Board President Colleen Osborn says it’s a “broken system.”

“We have students of all different shapes and sizes. Some of these kids have lunch at 10 a.m. and then they’re limited and can’t buy other things.”

Debating the merits of the program in a public meeting, one parent in the audience hit the nail on the head. “Michelle Obama put these things into play, but her children go to private school and they don’t have to follow these standards.”

Liberals advocating programs they would never follow in their personal lives? Say it ain’t so.