In my small town no kid goes hungry. For the second or third year in a row any kid under 18 gets a free a sack lunch every weekday all summer long. NO questions asked. Rich or poor. The school prepares the lunches and hands them out at a couple of different sites. These lunches are not bologna or peanut butter. They are ham or hot dogs or chicken. They even publish a menu.
We are laying off teachers, but passing out lunch in the summer time.
Yes, I know the lunches are being provided under a Federal Grant, but it is still taxpayer money, a fact that seems to be lost on many people. Someone is still paying.
Why are we passing out free lunch? One argument is some cannot afford to provide lunch for their kids. I call bullshit. If you cannot afford food, we the taxpayers, are subsidising your food through WIC or the Food Stamp program. There is no excuse for not having food for your kids. With a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread you can provide lunch for a week for two people for about $5. That is about $0.35 per day or around the cost of two cigarettes.
Of course eating peanut butter every day is not fun. But a peanut butter sandwich is nutritious and fills you up. I eat a peanut butter sandwich at least once a week for lunch.
Look, I am not against offering a helping hand. But this is not a poor community. If there was a demonstrable need to provide lunch I might go along. But we as a nation need to learn to say NO. Just because someone wants to give out free Federal money does mean we have to take it. The Government is beyond broke. We are borrowing money that will take generations to pay, if we stopped now. Despite what our local schools system believes, there really is no free lunch.