There's that old saw about "tax breaks for millionaires," of course, but also past outrage over a proposed taxpayer loan for
Providing government-funded breakfast and lunch to every student in seven
Free meals for some 2,800 children at Allis, Falk,
But if the schools are accepted into the program, parents of the rest will no longer have to buy the Cheerios, juice boxes, and peanut-butter-and-jelly fixings they've proved capable of buying until now.
Assuming a 10 percent increase in meals, up to
The main driver of the food-for-all approach is that getting free meals can subject poor children to social stigma.
"(T)here has long been research linking stigma to the pragmatic concern of reduced participation of low-income kids in school meal programs," according to
It's not clear this dynamic applies in
"(W)e do carefully work to protect free-and-reduced status of students," Strauch-Nelson said. "There is one (lunch) line and most students pay through accounts, so there would not be a way for others to see it."
My two older kids, for instance, didn't know why some of their classmates always got "hot lunch" at their
Not that there aren't plenty of other ways for kids to figure out which of their peers are economically or socially disadvantaged -- from the quality of their clothes and toys, to living in a single-parent household. Kids aren't stupid, after all.
It's hard to argue against free government meals for kids -- no matter how much money their parents make. But feeding children of affluence isn't like making sure they have clean water, police and fire protection, and other basic needs that are most logically and cheaply provided en masse, by government, with tax dollars. Feeding your kids is one of parents' most basic responsibilities -- one you'd hope parents would be loath to give up and government would avoid taking over.
Plus, everyone knows there are no free lunches.
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