POLITICS + CULTURE
Children Need Food To Grow. Why Is This So Controversial?
Waukesha, Wisconsin school district claims feeding kids would “become spoiled.”
Of all the ridiculous stories I’ve heard this year, this may well take the cake. Waukesha, Wisconsin, school district just turned down a universal meal plan for students in the middle of a pandemic. They claimed that if they gave them free meals at school, children would “become spoiled.” Excuse me, that’s obscene. Have they no decency? Apparently not.
Kids need food to grow. I shouldn’t have to write this, but obviously, some conservatives need to hear this. At my elementary school, I was one of the few students who did not qualify for free lunch. But, I never thought the kids receiving free lunch were spoiled. They needed food just like anyone else, and I couldn’t imagine a world where they would have to go back to class hungry.
My generation benefited from the hard work of the Black Panthers, whose Free Breakfast for School Children Program laid the groundwork for America’s national free and low-cost lunch program. Before that, even poor white kids went to school hungry. We made so much progress. So, why does it feel like our society is moving in retrograde? Why can’t we agree that kids need to eat regular, nutritious meals?
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Right now, a household of two would have to make less than $31,284 a year to qualify for the regular free lunch program. I make less than this, which means that my kid would qualify for this program if I were a single mother. Even if my husband and I raised a kid together, that would make our household cap $39,461. Our kid would still qualify.
So, I’m definitely not sitting on a hill looking down at these children. And I won’t wait until I have a kid to stand up for the kids in these scenarios. Neither should you. We should collectively stand up to the bullies who want to cut programs that feed children. They are counting on us.