Kansas School District Considers Making School Breakfasts and Lunches Free for All Students, Regardless of Need
President Obama’s former “green” jobs advisor Van Jones has famously said that transformational “change” must occur from the top-down, the bottom-up and the inside-out.
“Top-down” change — like “Obamacare” and amnesty for illegal immigrants — is easy to spot. Bottom-up, inside-out change, on the other hand, is much more subtle.
A good example of “bottom-up” change comes from Kansas’ Wichita Public Schools, where leaders are considering making the district’s free lunch and breakfast program open to all students, not just those from low-income families, according to KAKE.com.
Wichita’s potential free-for-all food program is made possible by a “community eligibility” provision in the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act — championed by First Lady Michelle Obama — that allows school districts with a high percentage of “identified students” to bypass the typical, free-lunch application process and to throw the doors open for all students, regardless of need.
“Schools qualify for community eligibility when over 40% of their students are ‘Identified Students,’ meaning they automatically qualify for free lunch because they’re homeless, in foster care, enrolled in Head Start, or live in households which receive certain kinds of federal assistance, such as food stamps. If a school meets that threshold, then it can bypass the whole process by which individual parents apply for their children to receive free meals. Instead, the federal government subsidizes free meals for the entire student population.”
The Wichita school district “is eligible because at least one school has 40 percent or more of students who qualify for free or reduced meals,” KAKE.com reports.
The “community eligibility” provision was introduced in just a handful of states during the 2012-13 school and served more than 1 million children, MSNBC.com reports. The federal program was officially opened up to schools in all 50 states at the beginning of this month, which means Wichita is just one of many districts that are considering climbing aboard the federal gravy train.
But making school breakfasts and lunches free to all comers doesn’t necessarily end with the school year. Many districts receive federal subsidies to serve the free meals during the summer, too.
These generous handouts don’t go far enough for some Leftists. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, has authored a bill that would give low-income families an extra $150 per child in food assistance during the summer months. “Eligible families — those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches during the school year — would get the money for summer food in electronic benefit transfer cards,” KansasCity.com reports. Read more here.
Ironically, the school lunch freebies are being introduced at a time when a record number of Americans — one in five — are receiving food stamps, HotAir.com reports. (If parents aren’t using the food stamps to feed their children breakfast or pack them a school lunch, it sort of makes you wonder what the point of the food stamp program is.)
Progressives say all of these programs are needed to battle against “food insecurity” — a bureaucratic term to describe individuals who don’t know where their next meal is coming. That’s probably true on one level, though it doesn’t explain the redundancy of many of these programs.
The unspoken reason for these programs is far more insidious: Progressives are using free school breakfasts and lunches to condition the upcoming generation of Americans to look to government to take care of them. When these children reach voting age, they’ll see nothing wrong with the federal government promising to meet the basic needs of all Americans. It’s the fulfillment of the “Second Bill of Rights” that President Franklin Roosevelt proposed 70 years ago.
The free food is just the beginning. Many school districts — at the urging of left-wing teacher union leaders — also provide “wraparound services” for students and families. The idea is to have families view their local government school as a community center where they go not only to learn about “white privilege” and social justice causes, but also to receive free meals, free birth control, free counseling services and whatever else the Leftists want to give them.
Redefining schools this way is what “bottom-up, inside-out” change looks like. This is how a freedom-based nation gets “fundamentally transformed” — and how it ultimately dies.