Why should free student lunches fall on the shoulders of the Federal Government? Like so many other programs this needs to be handled by the various states and not Washington D.C. To be included in the 2017 budget cuts, it would be a natural assumption states would pick up the program.
As it pertains to being included in the budget cuts, and comments that the program may not be working as intended creates questions. Is there sufficient evidence of how well this program works? Is this just another “handout” to allow families to be more irresponsible and dependent on government? Is there abuse of the program? Does it fulfill it’s intended purpose? That of improving scholastic performance?
According to some studies, improved performance was noticed. However there has been no substantial proof it was directly related to the free lunch. In fact, depending on the geographic location, the “nutritionally balanced” lunches found a large part deposited in the trash. Kids in Texas or Arizona are not fond of salads and vegetables compared to enchiladas, tortillas or tacos with refried beans and salsa. There’s a good chance those items did not make it on the list of approved foods.
Studies have shown that there is no direct correlation between the actual food and academic performance. In fact, it could be more of a psychological element than metabolism. The idea of getting something for free, or being treated in a preferential way could have as much impact as food.
The 15 foods that relate directly to being the best for great brain performance are;
- Bone broth
- Coconut Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Egg yolks
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Green Leafy Vegetables
Now the question has to be asked exactly how many of these were included with any consistency in school meals? It defies the imagination that no matter how great these are, kids in predominate Latin areas may not be as likely to eat them. The other issue is how well any of these match up to what kids are accustomed to eating in their homes. Just because it’s been deemed healthy and nutritional, is no guarantee they will eat it.
While it sounds great on the adult level, kids are a different story. Unfortunately our society has fallen prey to BIG FOOD, and the incessant advertising for boxed nutrition-less cereals, pop tarts, toaster pastries, prepackaged pancakes and waffles, frozen egg and sausage on a biscuit, and so much more. This is what they are used to, which is the greater problem. Cheap, nutritionless, empty value foods that at best, are filling but offer nothing good to the body. They boast added vitamins, which are all chemical not natural, offering as much value as the foods.
So the free lunches that are supposed to offer such balanced, nutritional value, can only do so when consumed. However one good meal a day is simply not going to be sufficient, especially when the breakfast meal has long been identified as the primary meal to get the day off to the best start.
As always, there are the Pros and Cons, advocates and opponents, critics and supporters with this as any program. Reports are always subjective as much as objective, making it difficult to arrive at any conclusive point. Unfortunately it is a political issue dealing with kids, making it even more volatile should any dare say opinions to the negative.
Current budget cut proposals for the Trump Administration include elimination of the Free School Lunch program re-instigated during the last 8 years. Heated response has surfaced by those opposed, claiming measured results. Investigation reveals no measurable evidence that it is the free lunch that stimulates any improvement in student performance. While some improvement can be found, it can not be directly connected to food. This in turn would seem to give basis to terminate the program.
Of course, it simply gives more fuel to those opposed to the current administration in power. Looking for any tidbit useful for their determination to undermine the administration, all the while looking like a bunch of disgruntled kids that didn’t get their way.
Perhaps a new program could be started. A National Coupon for one free, Friday Night Beer with a Personal Pizza. That way they would have an opportunity at least once a week, for a free meal and something to cry in! Might work. Seems to work for the protestors.
I’m going to go protest pineapple on pizza!