School Lunches
and the Expansion of the Welfare State

School lunches are provided by the taxpayers to children whose parents say they can't afford to purchase meals in school lunch rooms.  The purpose, ostensibly, is to improve the nutrition of young bodies and minds, but it results in thousands upon thousands of additional mouths being fed by Uncle Sam.  This is not the proper role of the government, and the idea wasn't given any consideration until 1946, which is relatively recently in the history of government schools.

When I was a little kid in the public schools, it seemed to me that about two-thirds of my classmates ate the meals provided by the school cafeteria, and the rest brought a sandwich in a sack or perhaps a more complete meal in a metal lunch box.  The school cafeteria invariably served fish on Friday because (as I quickly learned) the Catholics didn't eat meat on Friday.  (These days that would be called an establishment of religion, but that's another story.)  The idea of providing a nutritious lunch at a school cafeteria and selling it at or below cost is one thing.  Having the taxpayers pick up the tab to feed the neighborhood children is quite another.  Lyndon Johnson initiated the concept of serving breakfast at school in addition to lunch, and now there's also an after-school snack available at many schools.  (Some cities also provide meals to allegedly low-income children in the summer.)  An evening meal is soon to follow, because the school lunch program is being used as a means of expanding the welfare state, thus expanding government control of everything in the process.

It's safe to say that the kids in your neighborhood school don't live in a homeless shelter.  More than likely, they have an Xbox or PlayStation at home along with an enormous flat-screen television.*  If their parents say they can't afford to buy lunch for their own kids, it is probably because the parents have a history of making bad choices throughout their lives, like dropping out of high school, giving birth to multiple illegitimate children, and spending their money on beer, cigarettes, tattoos and scratch-off lottery tickets.



Students tweeting pictures of disgusting school lunches.  It was always a mistake for Michelle Obama to take on the role of national food scold, no matter how sincere her worries over the obesity problems of many Americans.  Telling people what they can and can't eat leads to resentment, anger, and scorn.  That last stage has now been reached, as federally subsidized school lunch programs across the country have resorted to absurd measures trying to meet the guidelines forced on them by the feds, at the behest of the first lady.

Pix of skimpy Michelle O lunches anger parents.  A chicken patty, small scoop of mashed potatoes and carton of milk aren't enough to sustain a high school boy.  But under the school lunch regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, that's what Haskell High School served recently.  Haskell High School senior Darrel Bunch took a photo of one of his recent skimpy school lunches and sent it to Fox 23.  "It's mostly the portions," Bunch says.  "Last year we started getting less food."

GMA Promotes Michelle Obama's School Lunch Program.v  On Monday, ABC's Good Morning America provided First Lady Michelle Obama's school lunch program, entitled the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, with some free publicity.  Co-host George Stephanopoulos touted how "new federal guidelines pushed by the First Lady have cafeterias serving up healthier foods.  And a new study finds those lunches may be better than the ones parents pack for their kids."

Student organizes boycott of school lunches.  A Wisconsin high school student is leading a boycott of school lunches to protest new nutrition rules and calorie limits that she says are leaving her classmates still hungry.  Meghan Hellrood of D.C. Everest High School in Weston, Wisconsin, is the latest student to take on the new school lunch regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

As America's Kids Starve On Government Lunches, Illegals Get Second Helpings And Gitmo's Finest Get Fat.  In a bid to meet the rigid regulations of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, with its one-size-fits-all calorie counts, children are finding their meals the sorriest, measliest and most unappetizing ever served.  It's shocking to see what now passes for meals in school cafeterias under the guise of "healthy":  a couple slices of cheese, some florets of cauliflower, salads "naked" without dressing and assorted mystery meats.  One kid even posted a photo of maggots in his green beans.  That, not surprisingly, is why large amounts of food are going straight to the trash and school districts are dropping out of the federal lunch program at a cost of foregoing federal funding.

Michelle Obama's idea of a hearty lunch
Student photos of paltry school lunches raise alarm on social media.  Students in Oklahoma have taken to social media to blast Michelle Obama for their new school lunches.  They have posted photos of their meals which include comments such as:  'Thanks Michelle for the filling lunch' next to an image of an apple, a piece of bread and some breaded nuggets.  Another social media user wrote:  'School lunch or someone's vomit?' next to a snap of broccoli and an unidentifiable food item covered in cheese.

The paltry Michelle Obama school lunch being served up in Oklahoma.  A student has provoked complaints by parents after taking a photo of her paltry school meal of lunch meat, a couple crackers, a slice of cheese and two pieces of cauliflower.  Kaytlin Shelton, 17, who is eight months pregnant, took a photo of the $3 meal at a Chickasha school on Monday and showed it to her father who said it was not satisfactory.

The Editor says...
She's 17 and very pregnant.  That's what should be unsatisfactory.

Yuck: 83% of nation's schools report more lunches dumped by kids.  As school children continue to protest Michelle Obama's push for healthier lunches by dumping their full trays into garbage bins, the nation's school boards are joining in to demand that the Obama administration let them off the hook of serving the costly and tasteless meals.

Michelle Obama's Lunch Rules Limit Children To One Ketchup Packet.  First Lady and school nutrition advocate Michelle Obama's stringent lunch guidelines are limiting children to just one ketchup packet per meal.  A recent EagNews.com article profiled unhappy Idaho customers of the Obama administration's revisions to the National School Lunch program, including a parent who called school lunches "not edible" and kids who have stopped eating lunch completely.

Only slightly off-topic:
Burlington school bans birthday cake, sweets.  Students' birthday celebrations at Burlington Elementary School can include singing, balloons and recognition in morning announcements.  But as of this month they can no longer include cake.  Or ice cream.  Or food, period.  Burlington Elementary School, part of the Boone County school district, revised its wellness policy this year.  Among the changes:  no food allowed at school birthday celebrations.  Non-food treats are still allowed.  The policy gives as examples pencils, erasers, bookmarks.

The Editor says...
Imagine the joy of receiving a pencil as a party favor in lieu of snacks.  Ebenezer Scrooge would consider it a brilliant idea.  This is no way to treat little kids.

How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground.  [Scroll down]  Today the School Nutrition Association is Washington's loudest and most public critic of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Even as they claim to support the act, the lunch ladies have become the shock troops in a sometimes absurdly complex battle to roll back the Obama's administration's anti-obesity agenda.

The 'Common Calorie' Revolt.  Yes, there's a fierce debate today over Common Core education standards.  But the debate over "common calories" in school cafeterias is almost as intense.  All over the country, school districts, parents, and students are in revolt at the new nutrition standards being dictated by Washington.  They apply to the 30 million students who eat lunch or breakfast or both at school (for 21 million of them, the meals are free or at nominal cost).  Students complain that stringent new calorie caps along with limits on salt content and fat have created meals they find unappetizing, unappealing, and too small.  Jokes about "bonsai-size breakfasts" and "rabbit-food lunches" are now common in cafeterias, and food waste is up dramatically.

Cookie tradition crumbles with new school snack rules.  There was a time when Pat Gast could easily sell 200 or 300 fresh baked cookies a day during lunchtime at the Grosse Pointe North Student Union.  A staple at the high school for more than 20 years, Union cookies helped raise money for student programs and athletics.  No more.  They've been sliced from the menu by federal school lunch rules and replaced by a new, whole grain-compliant cookie.  "It was a tradition," said Gast, the student activities director who has run the Student Union for two decades.  "But there is no choice anymore."

Shark Meat In, Chicken Fingers Out for School Lunches.  Shark meat is in and chicken fingers are out for some schools abiding by First Lady Michelle Obama's lunch rules.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted an elementary school in Maine on Wednesday [9/24/2014] that is taking the standards from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act to a different level.  "The cafeteria is the biggest classroom in the school where students are taught to make healthy choices for themselves beginning in kindergarten," wrote Linda Mailhot, the head cook at Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor Maine, in a blog post for the USDA.  Mailhot said that kids get to choose from "nutritious and appealing" foods, such as shark meat, kale salad, and broccoli slaw.  The school also has a "walking club" and students do yoga before class.

Vermont bans brownies, turns kids on to kale, gluten-free paleo lemon bars.  It’s a best-seller at bake sales, a king of American confections, even a mandatory munchie of marijuana users.  But the iconic chocolate brownie, that perfect blend of cake and cookie, is banned in Vermont schools.  In its place are new hoped-for kid favorites like fruit shish kebab, kale and even gluten-free paleo lemon bars.  The switch stems from nutrition mandates required under the new Smart-Snacks-in-Schools program in effect for public schools.

Food service changes to take place at F-M High School.  Whether it was through their words or actions — like tossing the majority of the food on their lunch trays into the garbage — Fayetteville-Manlius High School students made it known that they were unhappy with the changes that have taken place in their school cafeteria since the federal government implemented the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010.  They have been heard, and by mid-September will see big changes in the foods offered in their school.

Chick-Fil-A Banned from Donating Food to School Event.  A high school football booster club in Ventura was prohibited from selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches at its back-to-school night event because the principal didn't like the restaurant owner's position on gay marriage, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Salt Lake City School District lunch report shows mistakes made.  On Jan. 28, lunches were taken away from 17 students at Uintah Elementary School and thrown in the garbage.  Following the incident, the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education had two external agencies conduct investigations into the district's lunch policies and procedures.  The school was one of seven investigated that had more than 100 instances of fruit and milk being offered in lieu of a meal.  Uintah, with 1,138 instances, was well above other schools.

A combination of animal rights activism, nanny-state food control and anti-Christian bias:
Public Schools Forcibly Subject Students To 'Meatless Monday' Activism.  Taking a page from long-standing Christian tradition — particularly Catholic tradition — taxpayer-funded public schools across the United States are now denying children the option of eating meat for lunch one day each week.  For Catholics, and for different reasons, that day has been Friday for centuries.  For American school children, the trendy new day of forswearing carnivorous deliciousness is Monday.

School District Trying New Lunch Menu Without Federal Guidelines.  The state's second largest school district has started the school year with a new look for its lunch menu, after opting out of the National School Lunch Program and forfeiting nearly $1 million in federal funding, to gain more freedom in the food it serves students.  In May, the board for Township High School District 214 voted to drop out of the federal program, after deciding its guidelines were too restrictive.  For instance, kids would not have been able to buy hard-boiled eggs or certain types of yogurt.

Illinois' second largest district drops Michelle O's menu.  The federal "healthier" school lunch overhaul, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, has been a boondoggle for public schools across the country.  The tightened restrictions, intended to combat childhood obesity, have driven more than 1 million students away from school lunches and created over $1 billion per year in food waste since they were implemented in 2012.  The drastic drop-off in lunch sales is prompting an increasing number of school districts to ditch the regulations and attached federal funding to save their floundering cafeteria programs.  Just this week, two other New York school districts dropped out.

Metro Schools Hiring 200 New Cafeteria Employees.  Metro Nashville Public Schools is looking to hire more cafeteria staff.  Their new free meal program has created a demand for more workers. The district is serving 17,000 more meals per day than last year, and as a result is looking to hire 200 additional employees.

USDA: Yucky School Lunches Can Produce 'Civic-Minded, Community-Conscious Adults'.  Who imagined that the Obama administration's effort to make school lunches more nutritious (but less delicious) would encourage children to become little community organizers?  The U.S. Agriculture Department has found an upside to all those "healthy" school lunches that students refuse to eat:  It says schools can use the plate waste as a "learning opportunity" to turn young students into "civic-minded, community-conscious adults."  A blog on the USDA website explains that an elementary school in Northern Virginia is now donating untouched food to a local food pantry.

Michelle Obama's Inedible School Lunches Lead to Food Redistribution.  Didn't eat your school lunch?  That's okay.  It wasn't really meant for you.  You were just a vehicle for redistributing it. [...] The entire setup is already pork city (the political kind) with lobbies for various agricultural concerns competing over what should be in the "healthy" menu.

EPA tells new students: Only 1 napkin, 1 salt packet, 1 ketchup pouch at school lunches.  For many students, the unwelcome return to school is often sweetened with a shopping trip for school supplies and new clothes.  Not anymore.  As college, high school and grade school students begin returning to classes, the Environmental Protection Agency is urging students to use recycled material, even garbage, for their supplies and to shop at thrift stores for "retro fashions."  And don't even think about taking more than one napkin or salt packet in the lunch line.

Now Michelle Obama Has Caused America's 'Best Cafeteria Cookie' To Be Outlawed.  An eruption of aggravation about what American schoolchildren can no longer eat in school cafeterias is never far away in the Obama era.  Now, thanks to federal intervention that first lady Michelle has made her signature issue, students in all 11 taxpayer-funded public schools in Elyria, Ohio cannot enjoy the famous Elyria pink cookie anymore.  This cookie is no ordinary cookie, according to The Chronicle-Telegram, the Cleveland suburb's local newspaper.  It's a velvety, cake-like, scrumptious delicacy glazed with a huge dollop of sugary pink icing.  Cleveland magazine dubbed the Elyria pink cookie the "Best Cafeteria Cookie" in 2009.  Locals will even call up asking for special bulk orders of the tasty treat.

Feds Ban School's Beloved "Pink Cookie".  School children in Elyria, Ohio are mourning the demise of a 40-year tradition — the loss of their beloved pink cookie.  The fabled cookie, long served in local school cafeterias, was done in by a pound of butter, six cups of powdered sugar and the Obama administration's food police.  "It no longer meets the national school lunch program guidelines for snacks," said Amy Higgins, the spokesperson for Elyria City Schools.  "It has too many calories."  The USDA "Smart Snacks in School" standards mandate that all snacks must contain less than 200 calories.

Bring Back The Welfare Stigma.  Richmond Public Schools (RPS) recently signed on to a federal program that "encourages school districts to feed everyone by eliminating many of the restrictions in the National School Lunch Program."  It's bad enough that we'll have more students belly up to the government food trough (if you've never had a taste of "free" government lunch, consider yourself lucky); instead, consider RPS Superintendent Dana Bedden's positive gushing about the new program:  "I like it for the health and nutrition aspect, but this also removes the stigma of free lunch.  Everyone can eat."  Ah, "stigma:"  one of the last great impediments to full-blown government dependency.  With all due respect to Bedden, he and the rest of Richmond Public Schools are doing a grave disservice by attempting to remove the "stigma" associated with free government handouts.

Cincinnati Enquirer Keeps Michelle Obama's Name Out of Story on District Ending Federal School Lunches.  Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky have decided to get out of the federal school lunch program, specifically because of the requirements imposed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.  Simply put, the district is tired of being forced to give kids food they won't eat.  Until it ran into problems, HHFA was seen as Mrs. Obama's signature achievement, and the press fawned over its alleged awesomeness.  Now that the program has encountered fierce real-world resistance, her association with it seems to have vanished from many press reports.

District drops federal lunch program.  Lunch at Fort Thomas Independent Schools may include more French fries, fewer vegetables and larger portions this year.  One thing that won't be on the menu:  federal dollars.  The Campbell County district is opting out of the federal school lunch program, forfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding.  The reason:  Kids didn't like their healthful lunches.  "The calorie limitations and types of foods that have to be provided ... have resulted in the kids just saying 'I'm not going to eat that,'" Fort Thomas Superintendent Gene Kirchner said.

Back to school: No snacks for you, Michelle Obama says.  Michelle Obama's push to stop kids from eating snacks and buying sugary drinks will be realized when kids go back to school. [...] Stories have already started to pop up.  Public schools can't have bake sales anymore to raise money to pay for their music programs.  The Girl Scouts can't sell their cookies on school grounds.  You won't be able to get a decent snack that happens to be over 200 calories.  The school lunches will be basically inedible.  As for soda pop?  Forget about it.  This stems from a law passed in 2010, called the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Schools Act.

Put Down the Cupcake: New Ban Hits School Bake Sales.  A federal law that aims to curb childhood obesity means that, in dozens of states, bake sales must adhere to nutrition requirements that could replace cupcakes and brownies with fruit cups and granola bars.  Jeff Ellsworth, principal of the kindergarten through eighth-grade school in Chapman, Neb., isn't quite sure how to break the news to the kids.  "The chocolate bars are a big seller," said Mr. Ellsworth.

School District Bans Birthday Cupcakes Because They Aren't Fair.  An elementary school in the outer suburbs of Atlanta has outlawed birthday cupcakes, cookies and, in fact, all food from birthday parties over fears that some kids with food allergies could feel sad and left out.  Officials at Brooks Elementary School in Newnan, Ga. announced the draconian new policy for the upcoming school year via a letter to parents, reports The Newnan Times-Herald.

Cafeteria workers offended by Michelle Obama's claim they serve 'junk food'.  School cafeteria workers, already frustrated that kids don't like menus ordered by Michelle Obama and the Agriculture Department, slapped as "offensive" the first lady's latest criticism that some school districts have given up and are just lazily serving junk food.

Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens, among schools offering free lunches to all students.  Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens and St. Louis Public Schools are among the school districts in the region that are planning to offer free lunches to all students, regardless of need, through a federal program new to Missouri schools this year.  Some of the districts had been offering free breakfast for all students and will continue to do so.  Now, district officials are participating in the so-called Community Eligibility Provision funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The program is part of the Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010, which was projected to boost federal spending on nutrition programs by $79 million over a decade.

Can healthy eating be forced on children?  Many of the pupils here are from low-income families where processed, unhealthier food tends to be more available.  "They weren't used to eating fruits and vegetables or salads," says school principal Richter Craig.  Newsagents and gas stations selling junk food are within easy reach of the school, making this trickier.  "It's not out of the ordinary to see a student walk into the building with pizza and a soda at eight o'clock," he says.  "So we have to say, let's eat this instead."

Michelle Obama Tells Kids 'Certain Money Interests' Are Trying to Kill Her School Lunch Program.  Friday [7/18/2014] First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first "Kids State Dinner" in the East Room of the White House, which treated the 54 children who won a nationwide healthy meal recipe contest sponsored by the food magazine Epicurious and the Education and Agriculture departments to a state dinner.

White House asked to stay away from school nutrition summit.  The rebuke shows how ugly the fight has become between the first lady and her supporters, who want kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their school lunches, and the organization that represents cafeteria workers and their allies who argue that the federal government is going too far in its push for healthier meals.  At stake is the health of millions of kids, an $11 billion school lunch program dominated by big food companies that want to build brand loyalty early and even the legacy of the first lady — who has made combating the childhood obesity epidemic her primary cause.

Mrs. Obama Declares War on Chick-fil-A.  It seems the home of plump juicy breasts and hot buttered buns has run afoul of the new Smart Snacks in School program.  The program is a component of Mrs. Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  The new government regulations require snack items served in public schools to have less than two hundred calories.  That includes vending machines, lunch rooms and other campus food venues.  And that's really bad news for kids at South Carolina's Socastee High School.  They've just learned they will no longer be allowed to buy Chick-fil-A sandwiches at school.

The Editor says...
What does Michelle Obama have against Chick-Fil-A?

Michelle Obama and School Nutrition Association Battle over Meal Program.  An internecine battle has broken out between the Obama administration and the School Nutrition Association (SNA) over the federal government's requirements for school meal programs.  The fight has gotten so nasty that Michelle Obama's food policy czar, celebrity chef Sam Kass, who handed out awards at the SNA's annual convention in 2012, was refused permission to speak at this year's convention, held in Boston this week and attended by approximately 6,500 school nutrition workers.  According to Politico, the brouhaha arose from the different goals each group has for the $11 billion school lunch program; some food companies "want to build brand loyalty early and even the legacy of the first lady," while Michelle Obama and her supporters, intent on controlling children's food intake, try to impose their views on the program.

Michelle Obama Fights GOP On School Lunch Rules.  She's fighting a House Republican effort to soften a central part of her prized anti-childhood obesity campaign and says she's ready "to fight until the bitter end."

School Lunches Weren't Enough: Michelle Targets School Bake Sales.  In order to comply with federal regulations, the State Board of Education in Tennessee has announced that schools are only allowed to host club bake sales, cook-offs, or any other food-based fundraiser on each campus 30 days per school-year.  The board chose this specific number because if a maximum number of days are not set, schools are not allowed to host any food-related fundraisers at all, according to The Tennessean.  Administrators across the state are lamenting the effect this will have on school club funds.

Cash-Strapped Newark School District Spends Thousands on Take-Out.  Budget cuts and tight resources plague Newark public schools, but even in these tough economic times, the Newark Public Schools District has approved tens of thousands of dollars a month in spending on take-out food and catering, NBC 4 New York's I-Team has found.  An I-Team review of district spending over a 15-month period ending in May found that Newark administrators spent more than $330,000, or an average of about $22,000 a month, on food from places like Sandwiches Unlimited, SuzyQue's BBQ and King's Family Restaurant and Catering even as it faces a $42 million budget gap.

Which is a greater threat to your school kids — cupcakes or cholera?
Healthy School Lunches, Unhealthy Illegal Classmates.  Promoting and preserving good health has become so fundamental to American culture it now justifies stringent bureaucratic oversight to ensure that schoolchildren no longer participate in things like traditional in-classroom birthday and holiday celebrations. [...] So here's the obvious question:  How does the healthy lunch program improve the health of kids forced to share classrooms with illegals sporting head lice and spreading disease microbes long eradicated from the U.S.?  If various infectious diseases are gaining entry into America's classrooms, isn't banning sweets from school grounds an exercise in futility?

City's free meals for kids are back for the summer with more than 1,200 locations.  The city's popular, free summer meals program is back, this time with more sites and tasty items on the menu.  Until Aug. 29, any child under 18 can go to 1,207 sites to get free breakfast or lunch. [...] The food is doled out at a variety of locations, including public schools, NYCHA buildings, libraries and four food trucks.  Roughly 500 of the sites don't accept walk-ins because they cater to special-needs kids, according to Eric Goldstein, CEO of Food Services at the Education Department.

Why This Mom Now Boycotts The Government Picnic Lunch.  Two blocks north of my family's home in our rural Minnesota town sits one of our city parks. [...] But the park, and another across town, now entice in a different way:  For five days a week at midday, the parks become centers of "free" food for children.  At around eleven o'clock in the morning at the park we frequent, trucks pull up to the picnic shelter.  Friendly people wheel out equipment and set out food to serve on picnic tables.  The personnel and the food arrive courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which began in 1968 and has provided millions of kids with nutritious food during summer months.  In essence, the cafeterias from public schools stay open even when school's out.

Free school lunch fraud in NJ districts leads to charges against 6 across the state.  Six public officials face possible prison time after they were charged today [6/23/2014] with filing fraudulent applications for free school lunch for their children — accused of stealing $10,000 in benefits, despite household incomes that in some cases exceeded $100,000.  All six, charged with third-degree theft by deception, face up to three to five years in state prison and fines of up to $15,000, if convicted.  The charges come in a wake of a report by the Office of the State Comptroller, which found what it called "widespread fraud" in the National School Lunch Program throughout New Jersey school districts.

Michelle Obama Tells the Congress 'It's Unacceptable' To End My School Lunch Program.  House Republicans are trying to end Michelle Obama's school lunch initative and the First Lady's not happy about it.  She used a White House event on Tuesday to rally opposition to a bill passed by a House subcommittee that would allow districts to suspend the program.

Gov't Report: Nearly Half Approved School Lunch Applications Found to Be Ineligible.  A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published a month ago but just publicly released on Monday found that while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken steps to see that ineligible beneficiaries do not receive reduced-price or free school meals, oversight still needs to be improved.  An analysis of a small, "nongeneralizable" sample of twenty-five approved applications found that eleven of them were in fact ineligible.

The Editor says...
Imagine that!  A government handout program that's chock-full of fraud and waste.

Student Lunches Soon Could Be Influenced By Climate Change Concerns.  There's no place in the Dietary Guidelines for a politically extreme environmental agenda, or for that matter any other non-nutritional agenda.  The Guidelines are promoted as providing authoritative nutritional advice — it's deceptive and dangerous to provide Americans nutritional advice knowing that it isn't based solely on their nutritional needs and instead driven by politics.  It's even worse for the government to develop food programs, such as those to feed school children, based on dubious, politicized recommendations.  Human nutritional interests and political environmental agendas are completely unrelated.  Developing legitimate nutritional guidelines therefore becomes an impossible task.

55,000 JCPS students of all incomes to get free meals.  Nearly 55,000 students at 95 public schools in Jefferson County would receive free breakfast and lunch this fall — regardless of their income — under a plan the school board is expected to approve Tuesday night [6/10/2014].  New federal eligibility rules enable high-poverty districts across the country to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students at schools with enough kids that are certified as qualifying for free lunch, said Julia Bauscher, director of School and Community Nutrition Services with Jefferson County Public Schools.

Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move!' goes too far.  [A]s is often the case with mammoth federal programs, one size does not fit all.  Many school districts have inadequate funding to meet the new nutrition standards and have had to borrow from educational programs, in some cases shutting them down.  Moreover, the kids detest the food and are tossing their lunches, so to speak, into the dumpster.  Some school districts report having to purchase or lease more trash cans to accommodate the extra garbage, increasing their waste-collection costs as well.

DC Children Avoiding Michelle Obama's Healthy Lunches.  A report by local Washington D.C. news station NBC4 indicates that over 60,000 low-income students in the metro area are skipping lunch, dissatisfied with the food offered to them by their schools.  In Fairfax County, Virginia, which contains much of D.C.'s Virginia suburbs, 16 percent of students eligible for free lunch don't eat on a typical day.  In Washington itself, the figure is 24 percent.  In Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, over a quarter of low-income students don't eat lunch per day.

Michelle Gone Wild: First Lady Targets White Potatoes and Republicans.  Michelle Obama won't rest until we are all scrounging for berries and chomping leafy vegetation in the forest.  Or until she and her fellow progressives regulate the entire food industry Soviet-style.  Four years and $12 billion later, her campaign to replace French fries and pizza with green pepper strips and Mexican turnip roots in school cafeterias has tanked.  Kids in Kentucky said the food tasted like "vomit."  Students in California were selling chips and candy bars on the black market.  Lunch ladies and food service workers report that the K-12 crowd would rather skip meals than eat kale.  Kids dumped mystery meat into trash cans faster than Michelle dumped patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  More than 500 schools have already opted out to get away from federal regulations and Michelle's constant nitpicking.  So why are the little ones trashing the government-sanctioned slop?

Michelle Obama: House Wants To 'Override Science' On Childhood Nutrition.  First lady Michelle Obama used the pages of The New York Times Thursday to slam Republicans who she believes have stood in the way of her Let's Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity.  "When we began our Let's Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal:  to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy," wrote Obama.  She touted the program's "evidence-based" approach, which relies on "the most current science," she said.  Science has led to a revamping of school lunches to be lower in sugar, salt and fat.

First lady defeated in panel vote.  Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee tried and failed Thursday to stop a Republican attempt to allow schools to opt out of nutrition standards backed by first lady Michelle Obama.  In a party-line, 22-29 vote, the panel rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) to kill language that would allow schools to opt out of offering lunches that meet higher nutrition standards.  The vote came after nearly one hour and 40 minutes of debate, the longest on any amendment during the 2015 spending bill process.  The language backed by Republicans would require the Department of Agriculture to grant waivers to school lunch programs that can show they have operated at a net loss over six months.

School lunches are now a 'right,' according to Mrs. Obama.
Michelle O: 'Parents Have Right to Expect Their Kids Will Get Decent Food in Our Schools'.  First lady Michelle Obama says parents "are looking for help" in making sure their children get balanced meals — and they "don't want their efforts undermined when they send their kids off to school."  "Parents have a right to expect that their kids will get decent food in our schools," Mrs. Obama said at the White House on Tuesday [5/27/2014].  "And we all have a right to expect that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars won't be spent on junk food for our kids."  The first lady said congressional efforts to ease the new school lunch rules are "unacceptable."

Thin skin: First lady bemoans opposition to her unpopular school lunch program.  First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday chided congressional Republicans for attempting to roll back her school lunch standards, calling the effort "unacceptable" and accusing lawmakers of playing politics with the health of young students.  The unusual step by Mrs. Obama, who largely has avoided political scuffles during her husband's time in office, underscores the growing unrest around the initiative and a real chance that the standards, at least in their current form, may not survive much longer.

Public School Kids Protest 'Let's Move' Lunches As First Daughters Get Meatball Subs, Ice Cream.  With public school students using #ThanksMichelle to tweet photos of their skimpy, stomach-turning school lunches, I decided to look at what Michelle Obama's daughters are served at Sidwell Friends school, and it turns out the girls dine on lunches from menus designed by chefs.  While the Obama daughters have enjoyed dishes like chicken coconut soup, local butternut squash soup, crusted tilapia, they also get their fill of what Mrs. Obama might consider junk food.

While Public School Kids Eat 'Healthy Lunches,'Obama Girls Dine On Meatball Subs And Ice Cream.  Not only have disgruntled kids across America voiced their displeasure over First Lady Michelle Obama's school lunch program from the beginning, many have used #ThanksMichelle to tweet photos of their daily choices. [...] By contrast, the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where the Obamas send their children to school, serves school lunches designed by chefs.  This week, for example, they might enjoy meatball subs, BBQ wings and ice cream, in addition to chicken curry, deviled egg salad and the "Chef's Choice."

First Lady Set to Respond to School Meal Critics.  The School Nutrition Association, which represents school nutrition directors and companies that sell food to schools, has lobbied for changes to the standards, saying some are too restrictive.

Michelle Obama Moves To Quell School Lunch Revolt.  First Lady Michelle Obama is moving to quell the revolt against the school meal nutrition standards that she helped set in place.  House Republicans are supporting a measure that would allow some school districts to opt out of the standards — if they can prove that it is affecting their school budgets.  In response, Michelle Obama is scheduled to meet with school leaders and experts on nutrition Tuesday [5/27/2014] to discuss the importance of federal regulation of school meals.  The strict rules, passed in 2010, limit the amount of fat, calories, sugar, and sodium served during school meals and requires more whole grains.

House GOP wants to roll back school lunch rules championed by Michelle Obama.  House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money.  A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six month period.  Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014.  The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.

Connecticut proposes chocolate milk ban in schools.  School children in Connecticut may soon be forced to go without their midday chocolate kick.  Connecticut lawmakers are awaiting Gov. Dannel Malloy's signature on a bill that would ban chocolate milk and some juices from school cafeterias in the state.  If he signs it, Connecticut would be the first state in the country — not just a single school district — to ban chocolate milk in school cafeterias.  The law would go into effect next September.

Nike Shoe Bribe to Keep Federal and State Money Flowing to 95% Black Detroit Public School System.  Though every student, K-12, in the 95 percent Black Detroit Public Schools (DPS) system already gets a free lunch, this isn't enough of a bargaining chip to keep them in class.  As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Option Program, each student in the DPS eats a free lunch every school day in a bid to remove the stigma of being from a "low income."

Teens Blame Michelle Obama for Their 'Nasty' Tater Tot-Free Lunches.  Caitlin Tagner, a high school sophomore from North Carolina, is very clear about who she blames for her school's "nasty" lunches:  "I blame Michelle Obama."  It's great that schools are trying to make lunches better, they're not doing a very good job of it.  "Starving kids at school isn't exactly a way to (get) kids' obesity down," Tagner added.  "I feel like it's just been taken too far."

Schools seek changes to healthier lunch standards.  Starting next school year, pasta and other grain products in schools will have to be whole-grain rich, or more than half whole grain.

Texas Students Launch Movement to Stand Up to FLOTUS Over School Lunch.  Students are fed up with the meager portion sizes and bland taste of Michelle Obama-mandated school lunches. [...] The Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act has been in effect for a few years now.  Yet, it seems to have done just the opposite of its stated intent.  Kids aren't getting enough to eat thanks to the law's stringent requirements; others are skipping lunch altogether because it tastes so bad.  What's more, obesity among school-aged children is still on the rise.

Feds to Ban Junk Food in Schools.  The government is putting its (big) foot down.  No more junk food in schools.

Michelle Obama's Food Program Is Non-Nutritious Waste Of Money.  The $12 billion federal student lunch program, which serves 30.7 million kids, is losing participants fast — more than a million just last year, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.  The reason:  the first lady's Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act, an act that has accomplished exactly the opposite of what it claimed it would — leaving hungry, angry, disgusted kids and dumpsters full of wasted food.  Kids have taken to Twitter to post photographs of the wretched results of the new federal guidelines that any school participating in the National School Lunch Program must follow to comply with the government-knows-best program for nutrition.

The Children's Crusade against Michelle O's school lunches.  America's school children have had enough and they're not going to take it anymore.  Faced with the meager, unappetizing school lunches required under First Lady Michelle Obama's nutritional program, students have taken to social media to express their outrage and disgust at what they're forced to eat for lunch.

Students sick of smaller, healthier portions take to social media.  American public school students sick of the smaller portions and healthier offerings they get at lunch thanks to Michelle Obama's anti-obesity initiatives are sounding off on social media.  Just a month after school lunch participation saw the steepest drop on record following the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, students tired of going home hungry are making sure the first lady knows why.  'I'll never forgive Michelle Obama for this school lunch,' tweeted one angry student.

Cell phone snapshots illustrate the inedible dreck served for lunch in public schools.
Students Fed Up With Michelle Obama's School Lunch Overhaul.  First, about one million public school students said "no way" to their cafeteria menus after Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign led to anger and frustration over food that apparently many American kids didn't want to stomach.  But for those without other options, all that's left is the power of social media and cell phone cameras when they simply can't take another bite.

Solutions sought to reduce food waste in schools.  It's lunchtime at Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, but 16-year-old Parrish Jackson has barely touched her turkey burger and apricots.  She's dumping them into the trash can.  The apricots are "sour," the junior says.  The meat is "nasty."  If it were up to her, she would just have taken the potato wedges — they're close enough to fries — then headed to the student store to fuel up on hot Cheetos and juice.

Former Elizabeth school board president convicted in free lunch scam.  Former Elizabeth school board president Marie Munn was convicted today of stealing from the district's federal lunch program after falsifying applications to obtain free meals for her children.  She faces three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 when she is sentenced in May.  The charges against Munn came after an investigation by The Star-Ledger into abuses in Elizabeth's school lunch program found she had been receiving free or subsidized lunch for her children for several years despite an income that exceeded federal eligibility limits.

Republicans Hope to Slim Chunky Federal School Lunch Regulations.  In response to public outcry and several "brown bag-ins" in schools across the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture loosened new meat and grain restrictions on school lunches in December.  Two Republicans have introduced separate bills that would give the meal changes some teeth.  Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) introduced a school nutrition bill in December that would reduce federal school lunch mandates.  Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) put forth legislation to require the White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to abide by the same nutritional standards they impose on U.S. students.  "While state dinners can serve up thousands of calories for a single meal, one million fewer kids were participating in the National School Lunch program because of these onerous regulations," said Davis spokesman Andrew Flach.

Waterford school districts drop federal lunch program.  New federal requirements that foods sold in schools be healthier have some area school districts opting out of the federal lunch program that provides subsidies for serving free or reduced-price meals to low-income students.  Opting out means the districts do not have to follow food healthiness requirements.  But it also means the districts lose federal money that covers the cost of free and reduced-price meals for poorer students.  The Waterford Graded and Waterford High School districts have weighed their options and decided they'd rather forego the money and serve what they want.

Federal audit calls new school lunch rules a failure.  The federal government's changes to school lunch menus have been disastrous, causing problems for cafeterias trying to comply with the rules and leaving the menu so expensive or unpalatable that more than 1 million students have stopped buying lunch, according to a government audit released Thursday.  One school district told federal investigators that it had to add unhealthy pudding and potato chips to its menu to meet the government's minimum calorie requirements.  Other school districts removed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from their elementary school menus.

This happened in England, but it could easily happen here, too.
Headmaster expelled boy, 6, for junk food in his lunchbox.  A headteacher who expelled a six-year-old boy after he brought in Mini Cheddars for his packed lunch fed pupils food from McDonald's, it was revealed today [2/17/2014].  Jeremy Meek ordered the notorious junk food for youngsters at Colnbrook Church of England Primary School in Berkshire, just weeks before kicking out a pupil in a row over healthy eating.

All Mrs. Obama's calories.  That was some spread Barack and Michelle Obama put out the other night for François Hollande — a feast fit for the leader of a nation that gave the world haute cuisine.  Even so, it has one Republican congressman steaming.  Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis wants to know what example the White House is setting with a 2,500-calorie dinner (with 153 grams of fat to boot).  Because that's a day's worth of calories the USDA recommends for an average man.  And it's three times the calories the USDA allows American students in the school lunch program.

When Socialists gorge at the White House.  Obesity isn't a factor when it's dinner for poo-bahs and not for school cafeteria menus.

Sacrebleu! Obamas to serve gut-busting 2,500-calorie state dinner for Hollande.  Rep. Rodney Davis, Illinois Republican and a critic of the administration's school-lunch requirements, called the high-calorie State Dinner menu "the height of hypocrisy." "Even if you're estimating a small cut of steak, this is a menu where you're talking 2,500 calories, which is almost three times as much as what the first lady and the USDA allow our school kids to eat in the school lunch program," Mr. Davis said.

Cafeteria Nazis Take Lunches from Kids, Toss it in the Trash.  Because nothing says "nurturing children" like snatching their lunches out of their wee little hands and throwing the food in the garbage can.

Lunch Commissars On The March In Utah.  What does it take to turn an ordinary school official into a red-star commissar remorselessly yanking lunches from hungry kids and tossing them in the trash?  Try an anti-school choice union and a big bureaucracy.

Reports: Lunches seized from Utah schoolkids because of unpaid bills.  Dozens of children at a Utah school had their lunches seized and thrown away because they did not have enough money in their accounts, prompting an angry response from parents, it was reported.  "She took my lunch away and said, 'Go get a milk,'" Sophia Isom, a fifth-grader at Salt Lake City's Uintah Elementary School, told NBC affiliate KSL.com.  "I came back and asked, 'What's going on?' Then she handed me an orange.  She said, 'You don't have any money in your account so you can't get lunch.'"  Up to 40 kids suffered similar treatment, given fruit and milk as their lunches were thrown away, the station reported.

Christie Touts Free Dinner Program For Camden Kids.  Gov. Chris Christie is praising a new pilot program that is offering free hot dinners to students in a half-dozen Camden schools.

School lunch program to cost $16.4B.  Thursday's [1/16/2014] edition of the Federal Register contains 185 new agency submissions, including an update to the cost of the National School Lunch Program. [...] The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, which provides free and low-cost healthy meals to more than 31 million students, is projected to cost taxpayers $16.4 billion in 2014.  The costs will continue to grow over the next couple years, according to government estimates, adding up to $17 billion by 2016.

USDA To Permanently Loosen Requirements For First Lady's Unpopular School Lunch Program.  Parents, teachers and students who have been complaining for the past couple of years about the unappetizing, and unfilling lunches Michelle Obama's signature anti-obesity program has imposed on schools, finally have something to cheer about.  USDA regulators have agreed to relax rules that imposed reductions in calories and portion sizes as part of the law designed to improve school breakfasts and lunches, and ironically called the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Let Them Eat Sandwiches: USDA Eases School Lunch Restrictions.  After the the school lunch program was overhauled in 2012 to curb childhood obesity, lots of kids began complaining that lunches were too skimpy.  Why?  Because in some cases, schools had to limit healthy foods — such as sandwiches served on whole-grain bread or salads topped with grilled chicken — due to restrictions the U.S. Department of Agriculture set on the amount of grains and protein that could be served at meal-time.  In some districts, program participation dropped as more kids decided to brown-bag it and bring their own food to school.

More students qualifying for free or reduced lunches.  The rates of children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches has ballooned over a decade.  Yet area school officials say there are more eligible families who don't apply for the program, which not only provides access to meals but also qualifies schools for federal grants and additional state money.  The percentage of students in New Hampshire who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches grew by 66 percent over 10 years.

Feds' ban on milk-only option angers Manchester school officials.  Students must take a meal at school even if they only want a carton of milk, according to federal regulations presented at the Board of School Committee meeting Monday [11/25/2013].  Mayor Ted Gatsas and other school board members reacted with dismay to the rules, which they say have contributed to waste when students, some of whom bring lunches from home and only want milk, toss the school-provided fare in the trash.

Got milk? School lunch madness.  The Obama administration's unquenchable ambition to replace Americans' own choices with those made by bureaucrats in Washington has taken yet another stupid turn, it appears.  Either that, or the federal school lunch policy is so confusing that city officials cannot figure out how to serve milk.  "We're not able to offer the free milk-only option.  In order to have the free milk, the students are required to choose the required meal component," Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston told the Board of School Committee on Monday night [11/25/2013].

Mom fined $10 by daycare for packing 'unhealthy' lunch.  Kristin Barkiw of Rossburn, Manitoba, Canada brought two of her children home from Little Cub's Den daycare when she saw that her kids were sent home with a note.  As reported by CTV, the message told the mom she had failed to provide a nutritionally balanced lunch for her children, 5-year-old Logan and 3-year-old Natalie.

Tennessee High School Segregates Students at Lunch Based on Grades.  A Tennessee high school is stirring up controversy for a policy that separates students at lunch based on their grades.  Specifically, La Vergne High School student who are making poor grades are separated from their classmates and made to eat lunch in a separate location.

The Editor says...
I thought self-esteem trumped everything in the government schools.

Epping preschool rejects candy corn mom packed into daughter's lunch.  Michelle Kelly recently decided to reward her 4-year-old daughter, Sarah, with a little bag of candy corn for getting ready for school on time.  Kelly packed the bag with Sarah's otherwise healthy snack and lunch and sent her off to Epping's public preschool.  Kelly didn't think too much of it when Sarah came home from school with the bag of candy uneaten.  She packed it again as a treat the next day, but when Sarah returned home with the candy corn a second time, Kelly asked her why she didn't eat it.  "She said, 'My teacher told me I couldn't have any candy,'" Kelly said.

The Editor says...
Why is a four-year-old in a public school anyway?  What happened to the custom of starting school at age six?

Chuck Norris says no to school lunch.  The Child Nutrition Act provides breakfasts and lunches to 31 million students at the cost of $12 billion annually.  Despite the fact that government-subsidized lunches are supposed to stay within certain fat, caloric and nutritional standards, 20 percent of schools also sell fast food, such as McDonald's burgers and french fries and Pizza Hut and Little Caesars pizza.  Eighty percent of schools do not meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's standards for fat content in foods.  U.S. elementary school lunches average 821 calories each.  Forty-three percent of U.S. elementary schools, 74 percent of middle schools and nearly all high schools have soda vending machines on campus.

USDA Claims Highly Criticized Lunch Standards are 'Proving Popular'.  The USDA video claims that the "vast majority of schools across the country report having successfully implemented the new school standards.  However, numerous news reports from across the country in recent months show many schools are having trouble implementing the rules.  Additionally, districts are dropping out of the program due to financial burdens and kids' distaste for new menus finds the healthier food in the trash.  "They say it tastes like vomit," one Harlan County, Ky. school board member said at a meeting last month, according to the Daily Mail.  A group serving 12 districts in New York said implementing the standards was a "disaster."

Family Income Not A Factor As Students Eat Free.  The nation's oldest school system has joined a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that has spread to 10 states and the District of Columbia that offers students two free meals every school day, whether or not their families can afford them.

Some school districts quit healthier lunch program.  After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money.

The Editor says...
Nobody cares if the food tastes like swill — until the cafeteria starts losing money!

Kentucky students to first lady Michelle Obama: Your food 'tastes like vomit'.  Students in a rural Kentucky county — and their parents — are the latest to join a growing national chorus of scorn for the healthy school lunches touted by first lady Michelle Obama.  "They say it tastes like vomit," said Harlan County Public Schools board member Myra Mosley at a contentious board meeting last week, reports The Harlan Daily Enterprise.

Regulations Prompt Schools to Ditch Federal Lunch Subsidies.  Approximately 200 school districts across the country have opted out of federal lunch requirements, leaving them free from regulations Michelle Obama pushed in 2010, but without federal subsidies for school lunches.  "It was basically about watching the amount of food get thrown away last year.  The kids just didn't like what we had to offer them," said Gary Lewis, superintendent of Catlin Public Schools in Illinois.  "The new guidelines from the federal level for us were too restrictive."  Through the lunch program, the federal government dictates the type, amount, and even color of food in public schools.

Why Did a Tennessee Grade School Ban Pork?  A Tennessee elementary school banned students from eating ham sandwiches, BLT's and anything else made with pork, but eventually lifted the ban after parents complained. [...] "No meats containing pork," read the memorandum.  "Starting Monday, August 12, 2013 your child must provide their own snack from the above approved snack list." Kids could nosh on raw vegetables without dips or sauces, fresh fruit, crackers, pretzels, and popcorn — but no ribs or pork rinds.

The Editor says...
The ban was quickly lifted, but don't ever forget that they tried to impose Islamic (halal) restrictions on food that the kids were bringing from their homes!  Even the Food Police have never been so brazen, but the Muslims are, and I suspect that's who is at the root of this ill-conceived order.

Fraud widespread in New Jersey free lunch program -state official.  New Jersey will refer 109 names to criminal investigators after a probe allegedly found pervasive fraud in the federal free and low-cost lunch program in the state's schools, a state official said on Wednesday [7/17/2013].

Indiana school district loses $300K because students refuse to buy first lady's healthy meals.  School officials in Carmel Clay, Ind., said they lost $300,000 last school year because students are rejecting the healthy menu changes brought on by First Lady Michelle Obama's federal lunch regulations.  "I've had a lot of complaints, especially with the little guys," Linda Wireman, a food service director for North White School Corp., told JCOnline.  "They get a three-quarters cup of vegetables, but if it's something they don't like, it goes down the garbage disposal.  So there are a lot of complaints they're going home hungry."

First lady-backed school lunch regs cost school district $100,000.  A New York school district is giving the boot to the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) [sic] and its new restrictive regulations mandating the number of calories and nutrients in each meal.  The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district announced this month that after a school year struggling with the new guidelines under the Michelle Obama-backed Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act, the school will not be participating in the program this coming school year.

New York school drops Michelle Obama lunch standards: Kids too hungry.  New York's Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district has become the latest casualty in first lady Michelle Obama's preferred lunch plan, dropping the menu after too many students complained of hunger.  "[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase," said Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo about the National School Lunch Program in a statement reported by EAGNews.org.  "Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money."

Feds add Greek yogurt to school lunches.  The Obama administration wants to add Greek yogurt to school lunch menus.  On Monday [7/8/2013], the Department of Agriculture announced it was looking to buy the yogurt for schools participating in a federally assisted program that subsidizes school lunches.  A department official said in a statement that the introduction of Greek yogurt, which is high in protein, was aimed at helping schools offer a variety of healthy foods to kids.

Michelle knows best — but schools struggle to meet Obama's new lunch rules.  Schools are having a difficult time meeting new federal requirements for leaner student lunches championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and in some cases are adding less healthy foods to meet calorie limits, investigators have found.  The problems are so widespread that the Government Accountability Office is recommending that the Agriculture Department ease or change some requirements to avoid the unexpected consequences of Mrs. Obama's signature effort to address childhood obesity.

Michelle Obama's school lunch rules to kick off next year.  High-calorie sports drinks and candy bars will be removed from school vending machines and cafeteria lines as soon as next year — to be replaced with diet drinks [and] granola bars.  The Agriculture Department said today that for the first time it will make sure that all foods sold in the nation's 100,000 schools are healthier by expanding fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits to almost everything sold during the school day.

Menu Changes Are Driving Children Out of the Lunch Line.  The attempt to legislate nutrition is causing problems in the nation's public schools.  Food waste is up and the number of students buying school lunches is down, witnesses told a congressional panel on Thursday [6/27/2013].  And the maximum weekly limits on protein and grain servings, although temporarily suspended, are particularly troublesome.

New federal rules require healthier school snacks.  Candy bars, doughnuts and regular potato chips will become scarce in schools under new federal rules released Thursday, replaced by healthier options such as granola bars, trail mix and baked chips.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards represent the first nutritional overhaul of school snacks in more than 30 years.

New rules make school a junk food-free zone.  High-calorie sports drinks and candy bars will be removed from school vending machines and cafeteria lines as soon as next year, replaced with diet drinks, granola bars and other healthier items.

We pay for lunch, breakfast, and a couple of carry-out meals for the weekend.
If you eat from the government's hand, you are the government's slave.
Food Bank distributed record number of weekend backpacks to hungry kids.  The Kansas Food Bank gave out record numbers of Friday food packages to schoolchildren in Wichita and throughout the state this year as part of its Food 4 Kids program.  The highest number of backpacks of food handed out to needy school children was 7,158 during a week in February, said Larry Gunkel, a Food Bank official running the program.

[NY] City Education Department cracking down on school kitchens' use of butter.  Butter was exiled from school cafeterias as far back 2008 in an effort to make meals healthier.  But some school kitchen managers say they are being 'bullied' on how to prepare meals and threatened with 'disciplinary action' should they go against the ban.

Free Breakfasts: Another Destructive Progressive Idea.  The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced last week that it will discontinue the free school breakfast plan it initiated last year.  Called "Food for Thought," the plan provides school breakfasts to about 200,000 students.  It was funded by the LAUSD and the nonprofit Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, whose goal is to raise the number who participate to about 450,000 students (out of a total of 645,000 in the entire district).

Michelle Obama: USDA working on 'delicious' school lunches.  First lady Michelle Obama said Friday [5/3/2013] that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) was working on making school lunches "delicious" after the implementation of new school meal regulations that have drawn fire from some conservative critics.

Study Says Free Lunches Overpriced, Lack Nutrition.  A controversial government study today revealed an astounding conclusion: free lunches are expensive and lack nutrition.  All copies of the study have since disappeared and the members of the blue-ribbon panel which produced it have not been seen since it was released.

Parents outraged that Mass. kids were denied lunch.  As many as 25 students at a Massachusetts school were denied lunch this week — with at least some forced to dump their food in the garbage — because they couldn't pay, school officials and parents said.

Creating Dependency, One Mouthful at a Time.  To illustrate the pernicious character of today's largesse, consider the school free lunch program.  It is only one of several food programs; others include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (commonly called food stamps), the WIC program for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and NSIP, which provides food for the elderly.  Administrative details aside, all share common traits.  Free school lunches started small shortly after WWII to reduce government surplus milk and cheese.  The program has, predictably, exploded in size and scope, far beyond what population increase would require.

Dem bill would expand school lunch program to weekends, holidays.  Four House Democrats have proposed legislation that would expand school lunch programs to weekends and holidays.  Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) proposed the bill, which would amend the Richard Russell National School Lunch Act to set up weekend and holiday "feeding programs."  The proposal is meant to help ensure that at-risk school children meet their nutritional needs, but it would only extend this help during the school year, not during the summer.

If you brought a sandwich to school, do not share it with anyone else.
Maryland school district outlaws hugging, homemade food, pushing kids on swings.  The Old Line State — where kids have been suspended for making guns with their fingers and with toaster pastries — now boasts a school district that prohibits hugging and homemade food in public elementary schools for anyone except a parent's own children.

More kids get free lunch in D.C.'s wealthy suburbs.  The Washington area's wealthy suburbs have seen a sharp rise in the portion of children receiving free, government-funded lunches over the last several years, an indication of rising poverty levels.  In Fairfax County, the second-wealthiest county in the country, nearly 27 percent — 47,874 — of the public school system's 179,253 students receive free or subsidized school lunches this year, up from 21 percent — 33,479 — of 162,986 just five years ago, data show.

Sixty-four Percent of Schoolchildren Fed on Federal Subsidies.  In fiscal year 1969 (which started in 1968), there were approximately 47,906,000 American children enrolled in elementary and high schools, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  During the average school month in that year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 19,400,000 of these students ate lunches subsidized by the National School Lunch Program.  That means that in 1969, about 40 percent of all elementary and high school students ate federally subsidized lunches.

New federal rules for school food will cost millions, group says.  Newly proposed federal regulations aimed at the snack foods and drinks served in the nation's schools could come with a hefty price tag.  The American Action Forum estimates the regulations, which include caps on serving sizes and calorie counts, will cost schools $127 million and require more than 926,000 hours of paperwork.

This is just slightly off-topic:
Columbia students costing college $5,000 a week for Nutella at campus dining halls.  Columbia students are addicted to Nutella — and are feeding a $5,000-a-week habit. [...] The problem is that undergrads are not just filling up while in the cafeterias.  They's pilfering it to eat elsewhere.

Phila. school lunches: Goodbye fries, hello fennel.  People For People is one of four schools participating in the "Eatiquette" program, which was designed by local chef Marc Vetri to provide nutritious, low-cost lunches in a setting that reinforces social niceties and communication skills.

Food control: New regulations target meals sold in schools.  Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation's schools.

Soda, candy out under USDA's proposed school snack rules.  The Obama administration proposed regulations Friday that would prohibit U.S. schools from selling unhealthy snacks.  The 160-page regulation from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) would enact nutrition standards for "competitive" foods not included in the official school meal.  In practice, the proposed rules would replace traditional potato chips with baked versions and candy with granola.  Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions.

No Pork at TX College? The Nanny State Continues.  Are you sending your son or daughter off to college?  If you are, have you given your adult (or close to adult) child instructions on eating a healthy diet?  Or, are you anticipating that the school will make these choices for your young adult?  At Paul Quinn College in Dallas (a small private college) the president of the school is making these decisions for you.  President Michael Sorrell came to the conclusion that pork is not a nutritious food and therefore banned it from the school cafeterias.  All pork.  Not just bacon, not just pork rinds.

"Do as we say, not as we do."
Obama gut-busting lunch menu tops 3,000 calories.  The ceremonial lunch President Obama and his former congressional colleagues are eating Monday [1/21/2013] tops out at 3,000 calories, according to a website that has tallied up the luxurious menu of lobster, bison and apple pie.

47 million Americans on food stamps, Obamas pig out on a 3,000 calorie inaugural luncheon.  Although Obamacare requires restaurants to post calorie counts for all their menu items, Dear Leader's inaugural luncheon got a pass.  It's good to be king!  Of course, if you tried to serve this lunch in your local high school cafeteria, Moochelle would have you arrested.

The Regulatory Landscape in America — A Morass Of Red Tape.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture in January published stringent nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast programs.  More than 98,000 elementary and secondary schools are affected — at a cost exceeding $3.4 billion over the next four years.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012.  [#6]  School Lunch Standards:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture in January published stringent nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast programs.  More than 98,000 elementary and secondary schools are affected — at a cost exceeding $3.4 billion over the next four years.  The dietary rules have drawn protests from students, including the YouTube video "We Are Hungry" from a Kansas high school and a lunch boycott by high school students in Wisconsin.

Food allergy discrimination fight.  Back in the 1960s, there was real discrimination in American colleges.  At places like the University of Mississippi, students were threatened, assaulted, and arrested for demanding equal rights.  The U.S. Justice Department (with just a handful of lawyers) fought hard, serious battles to stop these civil rights abuses.  Today, with a staff of 800 and a 2012 appropriation of $145 million, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is suing universities over the food they do, and do not, serve in student cafeterias.

Reprieve! More Meat for School Lunches.  The Agriculture Department says it will issue new rules on school lunches that will increase the daily and weekly allowance of meat and grains.  This follows on the heels of several well publicized lunchtime protests by students who rebelled against the mostly vegetarian fare that the Agriculture Department had previously recommended.

Blow to Michelle Obama as regulators loosen stringent school meal regulations.  U.S. regulators dealt a blow to First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-childhood obesity campaign by announcing they are relaxing school meal rules.  Mrs Obama had supported new rules that would restrict calories and limit portion sizes in school meals but some students, parents and lawmakers complained that new stricter policies left many children hungry.

Ag Department: Those 'exciting changes' to school lunches aren't working out so well.  It only took a few months for the food cops and nutrition nannies in DC to come to a collective epiphany:  By the time these kids grow up they may well have forgotten who exactly stuck them with trillions and trillions worth of debt, but they will always remember who made them eat [bad] pizza.

Hungry kids revolt against Michelle Obama's tiny school lunches.  Voters turned out in force to demand a second helping of Barack Obama, but Michelle's signature effort, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, has left a lot of hungry kids hoping for a change back to larger lunches.

Feds handing NYC kids $30 million for free lunches as Sandy aid — whether they need it or not.  Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch has never dined with Uncle Sam.  Even as the nation teeters on the edge of the fiscal cliff, the feds have found $30 million in extra lunch money to shower on city schoolchildren in the name of hurricane relief.

Fraud in the Lunchroom?  [Scroll down]  Those schools with a higher percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch also receive a larger discount on the federal government's E-Rate program, which facilitates access to telecommunications services for schools and libraries.  State governments dole out benefits according to free and reduced-price lunch percentages, too.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, for instance, allocates $2,250 to schools for each low-income child enrolled in kindergarten through 3rd grade.  The program gauges poverty using NSLP participation.  Because of the financial benefits, local school districts have a clear incentive to register as many students in NSLP as possible.  Some districts encourage parents to fill out applications, even if they are not sure they qualify.

Pro-Family Group Warns of Agenda Behind SPLC's "Mix It Up" Day.  The American Family Association (AFA) is warning parents about an upcoming "entry level" diversity program being promoted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) under its "Teaching Tolerance" project.  On October 30, at over 2,000 schools across the nation, the SPLC will activate its annual Mix It up at Lunch Day, which it describes as a campaign, established a decade ago, that "encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries."

Nanny State Update: Obama's Food Cops Strike.  There will be no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for students in Alexandria Virginia.  Despite the fact that peanuts have fallen victim to bans before because of the severe allergy threat they pose, no such consideration governed this newest food prohibition.  Instead, paternalists are worried the lunchtime staple will not measure up to the arbitrary "nutrition" guidelines designed by the Obama administration.

Students learn first-hand about asset forfeitures:
Schools Crack Down on Cheetos.  Teachers across several states are patrolling hallways searching for students in possession of snack food contraband but there's one hot & spicy treat that is Enemy Number One — Flamin' Hot Cheetos.  "We don't allow candy, and we don't allow Hot Cheetos," Rita Exposito, principal of Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena, Calif., told the Chicago Tribune.  "We don't encourage other chips, but if we see Hot Cheetos, we confiscate them — sometimes after the child has already eaten most of them."

"Wastebook 2012":  In the name of increasing access to healthy food, healthy food vending machines costing $11,000 each are being installed in schools throughout Miami-Dade County.  The machines are stocked with healthy lunch options such as wraps, salads, and fruit and yogurt parfaits.  While the machines may be cool, there are more cost-effective ways to provide these healthy options to students, such as serving them from the regular cafeteria counters.  So why use the vending machines at all?  "Students are very tech-savvy and love to text, punch in numbers and get things quickly," one school official explained.

Students sickened after eating lunches contaminated with droppings.  Students at a Chicago high school fell ill Wednesday [10/10/2012] after eating contaminated school lunches, a CPS spokesperson confirmed.  Two students reportedly became sick at Hirsch High School on the city's south side after eating hot school lunches that were contaminated with rat or mouse droppings.  The food appeared to have been chewed by either a rat or a mouse.  The students were hospitalized after becoming sick and are expected to be ok.  The kitchen has been shut down for inspection.

The Problem Is Federally Subsidized School Lunches, Not Michelle Obama's Healthy Food Initiative.  Here's a radical idea for the First Lady.  Parents should be responsible for their own kids.  But I think this criticism misses the point.  The problem is not overweight kids, as one side argues, or politically correct micro-managing, as the other side claims.  Instead, we should be asking the fundamental question about whether subsidizing school lunches is an appropriate function of the federal government.

School District Bans PTA Ice Cream Sales.  A New Jersey school district has ordered the PTA to stop selling ice cream to students on campus because the longtime fundraising violates state and federal law.  For years the PTA in Parsippany, New Jersey sold ice cream once a week on campuses across the district.  The money was used to fund cultural arts programs and field trips for the students.  But earlier this week, the district superintendent sent a letter to the group informing the parents that those tiny cups of ice cream could no longer be sold on campus.

'Don't take good food out of our school': students.  Students in central Sweden have taken to Facebook in a show of support for their school's head cook whose food was recently deemed "too good" by local authorities. [...] [Annica] Eriksson was in the habit of offering students freshly-baked bread and an elaborate vegetable buffet, but was told recently by municipality officials to stop the practice because it was "unfair" to pupils at other schools.

Gov't Urges Parents to Use School Lunches As a Model for Family Dinner.  Responding to concerns that students are throwing away the healthy food on their cafeteria trays, the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged that adapting to the changes "may be challenging at first, as students are introduced to new flavors and foods in the cafeteria."

Congressman challenges USDA to follow their own school lunch restrictions.  Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp issued a challenge to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday:  Adopt the same calorie restrictions and menu standards in the department's cafeterias as the USDA now requires in the nation's public schools. [...] "If the USDA demands that 100,000 school districts change their menus and justifies this mandate because schools receive federal money for lunches, then taxpayers should demand that the USDA cafeteria meet the same standards, as USDA operates in taxpayer-funded buildings," Huelskamp challenged Tuesday afternoon [10/2/2012].

Lake County Considers 'Trash-Cams' at School Cafeterias.  Lake County School Board officials are considering attaching cameras to school cafeteria trash cans to study what students are tossing after officials found that most of the vegetables on the school menu end up in the trash can.

School May Install 'Trash-Cams' To Spy on Kids Tossing Veggies.  A Florida school district is considering a plan to install surveillance cameras on cafeteria trash cans to monitor what kids are throwing away — after they discovered that students were tossing out their federally-mandated fruit and vegetables.  The Lake County School Board said more than $75,000 worth of vegetables have been thrown in the garbage.  The veggies and fresh fruit are party of the Obama administration's policy to force schools to provide healthy produce in lunch rooms.

The Editor says...
The school board has assigned an arbitrary monetary value to the scraps of food in the garbage.  First of all, the process of feeding vegetables to hundreds of unrelated school kids will never be 100% efficient.  There will always be some edible scraps in the trash.  The claim of "$75,000 worth of vegetables" is a meaningless one-dimensional statistic.  How many months or years does it take to accumulate edible food with that value — and from how many schools?  Who has made an offer to buy the wasted food at any price?  School house garbage — or anything else — isn't worth $75,000 unless there is a buyer willing to pay that amount.  The real story here is the potential for government bullying of kids who dare to throw away uneaten carrots after the government insisted on providing them.

Michelle Obama: 'Competitive Foods' in School Should Be Limited.  The website promoting First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity advises parents to limit "opportunities for children to purchase competitive foods."  The website warns parents about "competitive food"  — food available to children on campus that falls outside of the federally regulated cafeteria food. [...] Many schools sell foods outside of the USDA school meals — in the cafeterias, snack bars and vending machines — that are not subject to federal rules.  "These foods are called 'competitive foods' because they compete with healthier school meals.

More N.J. children eating breakfast in schools.  According to the report by Advocates for Children of New Jersey, districts such as Perth Amboy and Newark are providing breakfast to more than 70 percent of the students who qualify for the morning meals based on family income.  The key to their success is a practice known as "breakfast after the bell," said Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of the advocacy group.  Instead of serving breakfast before school starts, these districts are serving meals during class.

The Editor says...
Notice that the "advocates" are bragging about the number of people who are dependent on the government, rather than encouraging parental responsibility.  When I was in school, if I had eaten a meal in class, I would have been suspended.

Federal Lunchbox Commissars Trigger Student Uprising.  The law of unintended consequences was out in full force with the Obama administration's "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010," a law championed by first lady Michelle Obama and passed by Congress, supposedly to combat childhood obesity.  But instead of lowering obesity rates, the initiative has students across the country rebelling.

NJ School District Cuts Portions for Students $3 Behind on Lunch Payment.  At the Tewksbury school district in New Jersey, children who fall $3.10 behind on their food payments get one hard-boiled egg, a package of crackers and a carton of milk for lunch.  The Tewksbury district consists of two schools, one for grades K-4 and one for grades 5-8.  Lunches at the school cost $2.40 per day.  That means children are only allowed to fall one day behind in their lunch payments before getting stuck with the egg special.

Michelle Obama's Share-the-Starvation School Lunch Program.  Michelle Obama's vision to promote healthier BMIs includes force-feeding federally-funded food to kids in school cafeterias and mandating that school-aged slackers "Let's Move!" their rotund selves around the perimeter of the schoolyard during recess. [...] As a result, voracious children who once enjoyed the freedom to choose sloppy joes for lunch are now getting their first taste of oppressive government regulation.

Snacks: The USDA's Solution To Student's Healthy Lunch Complaints.  School lunch trays are a bit lighter this year after Congress-approved calorie limits on school lunches went into effect in August.  The new regulations, which were championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, have inspired protests and even a video parody from students who claim the reduced lunches are making them go hungry.

NJ Students Plan Strike to Protest Obama Food Rules.  As many as 1,000 students at a New Jersey high school are expected to boycott their cafeteria today [9/28/2012] to protest the Obama administration's new lunch guidelines that many teenagers say are leaving them hungry.  Instead of purchasing their lunch in the cafeteria, many students at Parsippany Hills High School are brown-bagging it — upset over smaller portions and higher prices.

Revolt Over School Lunches?  Criticism is mounting over First Lady Michelle Obama's lunch plan, as kids are complaining they aren't getting enough to feel full after eating.  "Some Kansas students and at least one political leader say new school lunch guidelines aimed at limiting calories and encouraging good nutrition are having an unintended consequence:  Hungry kids," McClatchy reports.

Obama School Lunch Standards: Spartan Rationing, Tossed Leftovers.  After EAGnews.org published a recent article about how the Obama administration's new calorie limitations for school lunches are leaving many American students hungry (especially high school athletes), a concerned food service worker from a western Montana school district contacted us with news about how the guidelines are impacting her students.  She only agreed to an interview on the condition of anonymity.

The Editor says...
The teachers will never say this, of course, but the students are learning what life is like in a police state.  You step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.

Levin: 'Michelle Obama Is The New Eva Peron With Her Lunch Standards'.  Last night [9/24/2012], radio host Mark Levin described the Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama's new school lunch regulations as "tyranny." [...] "First of all, where does the Constitution empower her or that department to reach all the way down to every school — public school — in this country and set the menu?  "Are people in the local communities — are you incapable of overseeing this yourself?  Is your school board incapable of doing this?  Are your local administrators and principals — are they incapable of doing this?  "We need the Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama to mandate who eats what, where, how, and when in our public school systems?  That's tyranny right there — it's absurd.

Wasted Food, Hungry Kids: Michelle Obama's Bill in Action.  In 2010, Michelle Obama went to a lame-duck session of Congress with a request:  pass a nutrition bill giving the United States Department of Agriculture broad new powers to regulate school lunches.  That bill was passed in late December of that year, and the new regulations have started to go into effect, with the predictable results of wasted food and angry, hungry children.  The cinnamon rolls and chili everyone loved from their childhood are now gone.  Bands and other school groups can no longer sell candy bars as a fundraiser.  The government is mandating everything from portion size to how many tomatoes have to be on a salad.

School-Lunch Fiasco: Only the Beginning.  Drudge today links a student protest video objecting to Michelle Obama's school lunch regulations, and stories about school-lunch complaints are cropping up everywhere.  This one from the Christian Science Monitor is a case study in the perils of over-regulation:  one-size-fits-all, conflicting goals, rising prices, and failure to see the big picture.  The school lunch issue offers a tiny taste of what's in store for America once Obama's massive regulatory agenda begins to hit in a second term.

Complaints Mount Against Michelle Obama's New Lunch Menu.  In Wisconsin, high school athletes are complaining about not getting enough to eat each day, due to the skimpy new school lunch menu mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama.  The story we published earlier this week on that subject is unfortunately not unique.  Students across the country are complaining about the new school lunch regulations.  Perhaps the real motive is to starve students into slimming down.

Nation's children push back against Michelle Obama-backed school lunch regs.  Children and parents across the country are fed up with the restrictive new school meal regulations implemented by the Department of Agriculture under the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010," which has long been touted by first lady Michelle Obama.  The standards — which cap meal calories at 650 for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, at 700 calories for middle school students and 850 for high school students — also dictate the number of breads, proteins, vegetables and fruits children are allowed per meal.

Kansas Students to Obama: Stay Out of Our Lunch Room.  Students, parents, and teachers in a tiny Kansas school district have launched a revolt against new federal school lunch guidelines by producing a video parody that shows hungry children collapsing in classrooms and ends with students burning copies of the government regulations.  Residents in Sharon Springs, Kan. say the regulations mandated by The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 have resulted in more hungry kids.  And under the guidelines, teachers would be in violation of the law by giving hungry children an extra chicken tender.

Mrs. Obama's Back to School Message: 'Exciting Changes' in Cafeteria.  First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a back to school message for children to inform them of the "exciting changes" to their lunchrooms this year, thanks to federally mandated healthy food choices now in effect.

Students Must Choose Fruits, Veggies for Reduced School-Lunch Price to Apply.  Elementary students in Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools are now "required to select a serving of fruit or vegetables as part of their lunch," the school system's website says.  The new "All Star Lunch" program," based on new federal nutrition standards, aims to teach students about the five "star" components of a healthy lunch:  protein, grains, milk, fruits, and vegetables.

Kids begin brown-bag boycott of healthier school menus.  A movement protesting new federal guidelines for healthy school lunches that began in Pennsylvania has spread to Minnesota, where hundreds of students are now bringing brown bags in a boycott of the new menu.  Starting this year, there are strict limits on calories, sodium and meat portions.  Whole milk is off the menu altogether, and kids are required to take a fruit or vegetable.  As parents with fussy eaters might guess, some student's aren't salivating over those options.

Michelle Obama Continues to Increase the Government's Role in Parenting.  Noting that home-packed lunches aren't up to the First Lady's standards, the government is making school meals free for all, regardless of income, as part of a four-state pilot program that begins this fall. [...] More disturbing than the cost of this unnecessary program is the way [Michelle] Obama is further cutting parents out of the picture and hijacking their critical role.  We constantly hear from bureaucrats and government school apologists who say parents aren't involved enough.  Their solution?  Decrease parental responsibility even more.  By encouraging free government lunches for all students, Michelle Obama is creating a situation that will increase government interference in family life and take a major responsibility away from parents.

More Street Closings and Subsidized Food Mark the 'Next Chapter' of Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' Initiative.  Among other things, the administration wants local elected leaders to "commit to increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch program."

Taxpayer-backed free lunch program feeds kids in need — and those who aren't.  "There's no income requirement, no enrollment, no paperwork," said Monique Stovall, nutrition director for the San Juan Unified School District outside Sacramento.  "All children in the community in that age range can come eat with us for free."  Signs around the district headquarters advertise the fact that there is no eligibility requirement, and invite all kids to take advantage.

School Breakfast, the New Food Fight.  [New York City's] Health Department recently suspended expansion of the Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) program, which serves free breakfast in the classrooms of 381 of 1,750 public schools.  The program is ostensibly meant to ensure that hungry kids start the day with something to eat.  But the school system already offers every kid, all 1.1 million of them, regardless of income, the opportunity to have free breakfast in the school cafeteria.  BIC simply puts that breakfast on every kid's desk.  The Health Department reined in BIC after finding that roughly 20 percent of all kids might be eating two breakfasts:  one before arriving at school and another at their desks, adding on average about 90 unneeded calories to their daily intake.

Opt Out of School Lunch.  Should schools force kids to eat USDA-approved food, or should families take back control of what their kids are eating?

School Bans Coca-Cola at Football Games.  The Portland Public School system will no longer allow soft drinks to be sold on school property — including at high school football games.  School officials are also banning the sale of gridiron staples like buttered popcorn and potato chips.

Should Tuna Be Banned from School Lunches?  Canned tuna made news last week as the star in a scandalous debate:  A coalition of consumer groups is reportedly urging schools to take tuna off the lunch menu.  The reason?  A recently published study that reported higher amounts of mercury than expected, as well as large variances in the levels of mercury, based on tests of several different brands and types of canned tuna.

More about mercury.

Chicago Public School ban on lunches packed at home misses the point.  When we send our kids off to school every morning, we hand over a lot of control.  Professional educators and government officials decide everything from what they learn to what time they have to be there to, in some cases, what they're allowed to wear.  This is true across both private and public schools and it's just the cost of doing business with any big institution that's subject to some sort of lowest-common-denominator forces.  So we deal with it.  But should what our child eats for lunch be part of that?

N.J. High School Students Planning Cafeteria Boycott To Protest Obama Guidelines.  Students at Parsippany Hills High School held a strategy session on Thursday to discuss a potential lunch strike, on Friday, over what they have called inadequately sized meals.  "This year you're eating lunch and you're like 'Did I even eat?' You're not even full," senior Brandon Faris told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

The Editor says...
And, you know, I'm like reading this article and I'm like "Where did this kid learn English?"

Davis High fined for soda sales violation.  Davis High School has been fined $15,000 after they were caught selling soda pop during lunch hour, which is a violation of federal law. [...] "Before lunch you can come and buy a carbonated beverage.  You can take it into the cafeteria and eat your lunch, but you can't first go buy school lunch then come out in the hallway and buy a drink," said Davis High Principal Dee Burton.

The Editor says...
From this experience the students will learn about hair-splitting big-government legalism and litle else.

School fined $15K for selling soda.  The $15K to pay the fine will come from funds normally used for the school's music program, art department and sports.  That should make for some better, more well rounded students, eh?

Utah School Fined $15,862 for Accidentally Selling Soda at Lunch.  In order to remain eligible for federal subsidies for school lunches, officials at Davis High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, knew they weren't allowed to have active vending machines selling soda and candy in the school lunchroom during the 47-minute lunch period.  But rules designed to keep kids from washing down their lunches with something fizzy can be tricky.  That lesson was driven home when the state Office of Education's Child Nutrition Program hit the school with a $15,862 fine — 75 cents per violation over the period of many months that it turns out students had been illicitly selling soda in the school store.

No Soda for You!  A little on the Draconian side, wouldn't you think?  This is yet another entry in a growing compendium of similar events across the country in America's public schools. [...] No school monies are given by Washington without severe conditions.  The $15,000 fine on Davis High School is but an example of a national government that will dictate terms of operation to any and all who accept the money.

Over-Regulation Is Pricey.  When EPA, FCC, and OSHA staffers go to work, they regulate.  If instead they cruised Facebook, bought novels on Amazon, or surfed Internet pornography (as SEC employees were caught doing), they would neglect their taxpayer-funded duties.  So, these functionaries occupy their desks and concoct fresh ways to enforce the 169,301-page U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.  Thus, Salt Lake City's Davis High School got socked with a $15,000 fine.  While campus administrators followed federal rules and disabled a cafeteria soft-drink vending machine during lunch, they forgot to unplug another soda machine in the bookstore.

School Lunch Food Fight Pits Government Regulations Against Each Other.  States and school systems around the country have been reformatting cafeteria menus, partly pushed by Michelle Obama's 2010 "Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act," which essentially has taxpayers triple-paying for the food schools serve under wild and conflicting nutrition regulations, and partly pushed by a desire to be politically correct.  This has led to some outrageous incidents, including the recent North Carolina incident where a teacher forced a child to swap her homemade lunch for the school's chicken nuggets, a Michigan state child obesity registry and tracking system, and now a new set of rules in Massachusetts that forbid school vending machines, bake sales, door-to-door candy fundraisers, and snacks at after-school events and parties.

House overturns school bake sale ban.  State lawmakers overturned a controversial ban on school bake sales this afternoon after a fierce public outcry over school nutrition guidelines that also prohibited pizza, white bread and 2 percent milk.  "That is the stupidest thing I've seen in my career," state Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord), moments after the House unanimously voted to ease the statewide cupcake crackdown.  "Talk about hitting the nerve of government reaching far into people's lives."

Chicago public schools food chief under fire for accepting gifts from vendors.  The Chicago Public Schools food director and two of her staff accepted $87,000 in gifts from the two largest food vendors to the system, says a report by the CPS inspector general.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizardhave both called for Louise Esaian to step down.

Obama is a failure, in every way possible.  In regard to the school lunch box inspection, people will choose the foods they eat as personal choice, e.g. diverse ethnic and regional backgrounds which play a big part in what individuals prefer to consume.  Obama does want control of every facet of American life just as Castro, Chavez, Mao Tse Tung, his big idol, and even Joseph Stalin.  If this isn't a major branch of the Socialist tree that has its roots in Marxism, then what is?

Americans Have Become Compliant.  Last month, at a Raeford, N.C., elementary school, a teacher confiscated the lunch of a 5-year-old girl because it didn't meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines and therefore was deemed nonnutritious.  She replaced it with school cafeteria chicken nuggets.  The girl's home-prepared lunch was nutritious; it consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, a banana and apple juice.  But whether her lunch was nutritious or not is not the issue.  The issue is governmental usurpation of parental authority.

Children of the State.  At least two parents have come forward with stories of federal agents inspecting the bag lunches of their small children, pronouncing them nutritionally unfit, and compelling the parents to pay for government-approved school lunches instead.  One of the kids got her hands on a signed memo from the school principal, discussing the USDA requirements for acceptable bag lunches, and clearly stating that "students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions, which may result in a fee from the cafeteria."  In essence, this boils down to treating the parents as if they were wayward children.

$2 Mil To Track What Minority Kids Eat For Lunch.  The government agency that's wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to study how global warming effects crops, recruit more food-stamp recipients and bring healthy cuisine to the inner city has dropped a couple million on a device that tracks what minority public school children eat for lunch.  It marks the latest outrageous expenditure of public funds at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is supposed to provide leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources based on "sound public policy" and science.  Instead, under the Obama Administration, the bloated agency is spending huge sums to control matters unrelated to its mission.

Mass. school quickly fixes racist typo on menu.  Superintendent Judith Scannell tells The Eagle-Tribune the menu was supposed to list KK Chicken Tenders, with the KK standing for a creatively spelled "Krispy, Krunchy," but an employee mistakenly hit the "K" key one too many times.

The Editor says...
How are school children supposed to learn how to spell when the school lunch menu, written by adults, uses words like Krispy and Krunchy?

Top Level USDA Reps Showing Up in US Lunchrooms.  CPS [Chicago Public Schools], like other school systems, uses the lunch program data to determine "levels of poverty-based funding for school districts" so they will receive additional federal funds.  There's a huge monetary incentive in getting kids signed up for a free lunch program and to discourage them from bringing sandwiches and snacks from home.  Additionally, in exchange for meeting federal standards, the USDA provides reimbursement and other resources to schools.  For cash-strapped schools in disadvantaged districts is there really freedom of choice when being bribed?

Some Sacramento-area schools add dinner to the curriculum.  The late-afternoon meals come courtesy of the federal government's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2010.  The law provides federal funding for schools to serve dinner as part of their after-school program if at least half the students at the school qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches.  In California, 228 schools are participating in the new program, according to the state Department of Education.

Can Children Be Manipulated into Eating Their Veggies?  American children do not any more go to school hungry:  they go to school fat.  Can anything be done about it and, if so, whose responsibility is it to do it?  The U.S. government believes that children do not eat enough vegetables; it might very well be right, of course, but I suspect that the founding fathers might have been surprised that it had any opinions on the subject.

More public schools dish up 3 meals a day.  Schools are increasingly dishing up dinner to students — something advocates for the poor praise but conservatives question.

Observe carefully, for this is what tyranny looks like in its early stages:
Preschooler's Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria "Nuggets".  A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.  The girl's turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her ["]More at Four["] classroom that day.  The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines ... even if the lunches are brought from home.
[Emphasis added.]

The Editor says...
Well, that didn't take long.  Apparently you no longer have the right to pack a lunch for your public-school child, now that the government supplies competing lunches.  You will partake of the program, and you will like it.  This search and confiscation is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and now the negative reactions are widespread.

Chicken Nugget Furor Prompts Bipartisan Congressional Letter to Federal Cabinet Leader.  The national uproar over a 4-year-old's recent encounter with a preschool lunch monitor at a Hoke County elementary school has prompted two members of the N.C. congressional delegation to fire off a letter expressing "strong concern" to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  "This unfortunate and absolutely unnecessary event exemplifies the very definition of 'government overreach' and further perpetuates a growing reason of why the American people continue to hold less and less faith in our government," writes U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-8th District, in the letter co-signed by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District.  Kissell represents the district in which the incident took place.

Lunch replacement for Hoke County girl called mix-up by school.  School and state officials say a misunderstanding resulted in a West Hoke Elementary School preschooler's homemade lunch being replaced with chicken nuggets.  An agent from the Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Child Development and Early Education was at the school Jan. 30 assessing the pre-kindergarten program, said Bob Barnes, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Hoke County schools.

Nutrition Nazis — at a school near you.  It seems there are now Nutrition Nazis inspecting preschoolers' homemade lunches in North Carolina.  A hapless 4-year-old was required to eat chicken nuggets instead of the sandwich her mother had packed.  These Nutrition Nazis are just another manifestation of government tyranny in America.

Frankfort school cafeteria gets visit from USDA official.  Audrey Rowe is visiting schools all over the nation.  "Everything we can do... to make food taste good," Rowe told students at Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort on Wednesday.  The USDA official from Washington, DC got a first-hand look... and taste of school lunches in Kentucky.  "I think we can make it to where one day you'll say 'that lady was here and I like this food now.'  That's what I'm working on," she said.

No Freedom For You! When School Lunch Nazis Attack.  We are all familiar with the Transportation Security Administration going through our stuff at the airport on the assumption all of us are potential terrorists.  When a similar level of scrutiny is applied to our kids' school lunches on the assumption we are too stupid to feed them properly, we wonder if there's any place the nanny state will not reach to curtail our freedoms in the name of what's good for us.

Any Mother Knows Better Than Michelle.  Children are governed not by agents of the USDA but in the trusting knowledge of their mothers' abiding love in words that show up unexpressed in a mother's lovingly packed school lunch.  Until the debut of Mrs. Barack Obama trying to make her mark in the world, the love of mothers for their children, school lunches packed with things they know their children will eat, were things assumed not government legislated.

Food police bust 4 year-old in NC.  Is there anything the nanny state can't do?

Attack of the lunch police.  The Department of Health and Human Services, which thanks to ObamaCare will soon be the most powerful and unaccountable government organization in the Western world, has really been feeling its oats lately.  Fresh from its triumph in forcing Catholics to pay for contraception, agents of the Division of Child Development and Early Education moved to seize an improperly packed lunch from a little girl at a North Carolina elementary school, and assess a modest fine against her mother.

2nd N.C. Mother Says Daughter's School Lunch Replaced for Not Being Healthy Enough.  North Carolina officials have said there was a misunderstanding when a preschooler's homemade lunch was sent home for not meeting certain nutritional requirements, but now a second mother from the same school has come forward exclusively to The Blaze to say the same thing happened to her daughter.

"Put down the iCarly lunchbox and back away slowly!"  [This story is] not about whether chicken nuggets from a school cafeteria are more or less healthy than whatever parents choose to feed their kids.  It's not about whether a homemade lunch meets a government agency's "necessary guidelines."  It's about the fact that there are "necessary guidelines" in the first place, and now they're even sending agents around to enforce them.  It's about yet another busybody government bureaucracy intruding into yet another aspect of our daily lives.

The Food Police.  In Hoke County, North Carolina, a four-year-old girl brought her homemade lunch to school.  It contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, apple juice, potato chips, and a banana. ... A state inspector pounced on the lunch as though he'd found a loose land mine in the pre-school.  He decided that the lunch didn't contain all the relevant parts of the complete meal, and that the girl needed a full school lunch tray, including chicken nuggets, a fruit and a vegetable, and milk.  The girl, being a non-statist, peacefully resisted the vegetable, and downed the chicken nuggets.  The mother was outraged, as well she should be.

Is this still America?  Public schools in San Antonio have installed video cameras, not to monitor for foul play or intruders, but to spy on kids' eating habits.  Federal food police in North Carolina have begun confiscating preschoolers' homemade lunches because they didn't meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.  Aghast parents have noted that one 4-year-old's confiscated lunch of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice sounds more nutritious than the state-provided chicken nuggets.  But that entirely misses the point.  In America, parents are free to give their kids pizza and pudding with Twinkies and Twizzlers, and the government has no right to intrude.

Two weeks later...
Teacher Suspended Over Chicken Nugget Incident.  The teacher involved in "supplementing" a preschooler's lunch with chicken nuggets in Hoke County has been suspended indefinitely.  Parents of students in the Pre-Kindergarten program at West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford got a letter from Assistant Superintendent Bob Barnes last week saying a substitute teacher would take over the preschool class until the "issue" is resolved.

Update:
DHHS Official Grilled Over Preschooler's Rejected Lunch.  State lawmakers questioned a N.C. Department of Health and Human Services official at a hearing Tuesday [3/13/2012] to determine why a Hoke County preschooler's homemade turkey sandwich was replaced with chicken nuggets.  Members of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services wanted to know if a teacher at West Hoke Elementary School was following state law when she offered a 4-year-old girl a cafeteria tray containing chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread, and milk as an alternative to her homemade turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana, and apple juice.

The Editor says...
Three cheers for reporter Sara Burrows, who is doing the kind of work that few journalists do:  Most reporters won't go near a story that makes the state or federal government look foolish, even when they are.

School Lunches and Tyranny.  It is no business of the State to inspect children's lunches, brought from home, under the pretense of nutritional improvement.  The State is not the arbiter of what children may or may not eat.  If a parent wants to send her child to school with a squirrel sandwich, that's none of the State's concern whatsoever.

Don't Blame School Food For Obesity.  A newly published study by researchers at Penn State, using data on 19,450 children from fifth to eighth grade, found no link between weight gain and the availability of so-called "competitive foods."  That label covers food such as soft drinks, candy bars and chips sold in vending machines or snack bars and not required to meet federal nutrition guidelines for school meals — in short, junk food.  Most middle schools covered in the study sell it, often to raise money for athletics and other student activities.

Why the cafeteria crusade is a crock:  There's nothing about rutabagas in the Constitution, but that isn't stopping the Department of Agriculture from trying to shove them down your kids' throats.  Under new school-lunch standards unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday, public schools are now required to offer fruits and vegetables daily, along with more whole-grain foods, low-fat milk and lower sodium.  Oh yes, and there will be calorie counting, too.

Michelle Obama unveils tougher nutrition standards for school meals.  The new regulations, according to the Department of Agriculture, will:
  •   Ensure that students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
  •   Substantially increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
  •   Offer only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
  •   Limit calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and
  •   Increase the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

The Editor offers this reminder:
Michelle Obama is neither an elected official nor an authority of any kind, and is in no position to tell you to do anything.  Nor can she enforce any "regulations" to change your pesonal dietary selections.  Any time you see Michelle Obama in the media spotlight (intentionally), what you see is merely a façade for big intrusive government.

Why Junk Food at School Isn't Making Kids Fat.  Junk food in middle school does not lead to weight gain in children.  A study followed nearly 20,000 students from kindergarten through the eighth grade in 1,000 public and private schools.  The researchers examined the children's weight and found that in the eighth grade, 35.5 percent of kids in schools with junk food were overweight while 34.8 percent of those in schools without it were overweight — a statistically insignificant increase.  In other words, kids with access to junk food at school were no heavier than those without.

You are still free to feed your own children -- for now.
Feds Expect Growing Participation in 'National School Lunch Program'.  New federal regulations on school lunches do not preclude parents from sending food with their children from home, but a senior U.S. Department of Agriculture official said Wednesday [1/25/2012] he expects participation in the national program to grow.

Study: Junk food doesn't cause obesity in middle schools.  A new study of nearly 20,000 middle schoolers has found that kids who attend schools that sell junk food such as soda and doughnuts do not gain more weight than students who attend schools where that type of food isn't available.  The study, published in this month's issue of Sociology of Education, contradicts earlier research with smaller sample sizes that showed the availability of junk food correlated with rates of childhood obesity.

Michelle Obama's Unsavory School Lunch Flop.  [Scroll down]  While the Obama administration has showered the nation's second-largest school district with nutrition awards, thousands of students voted with their upset tummies and abandoned the program.  A forbidden-food black market — stoked not just by students, but also by teachers — is now thriving.  Moreover, "(p)rincipals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away."  This despite a massive increase in spending on nutritional improvements — from $2 million to $20 million alone in the last five years on fresh produce.

L.A. schools' healthful lunch menu panned by students.  It's lunchtime at Van Nuys High School and students stream into the cafeteria to check out the day's fare:  black bean burgers, tostada salad, fresh pears and other items on a new healthful menu introduced this year by the Los Angeles Unified School District.  But Iraides Renteria and Mayra Gutierrez don't even bother to line up.  Iraides said the school food previously made her throw up, and Mayra calls it "nasty, rotty stuff."  So what do they eat?  The juniors pull three bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and soda from their backpacks.  "This is our daily lunch," Iraides says.  "We're eating more junk food now than last year."

Sesame Street Muppet Pitches Government Dependence: Free Food at School.  A "food insecure" Muppet is helping to promote a national "Food for Thought" campaign that teaches poor families to seek out nutritious food and to eat on the taxpayers' tab.  At the National Press Club on Thursday [12/8/2011], Lily the Muppet — who worries about her family not having enough money to feed her properly — pitched free food at school.

Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy.  The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program.  Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

Congress pushes back on healthier school lunches.  Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and french fries will do?

Going home full: Memphis City Schools offers supper to students.  As part of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids legislation passed in 2010, the federal government is now in the supper business, budgeting $641 million over 10 years to make sure children in the nation's ever-growing poor pockets get one more balanced meal a day.

Senate mashes school lunch potato rule.  You can put the United States Senate on record as being pro-potato.  The Senate this afternoon unanimously approved an amendment to block efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to limit the number of starchy vegetables schoolchildren can be offered each week in the federally funded school lunch program.

School Breakfast and Lunch:  The federal government funds school breakfast and lunch programs at 80,000 public schools across the nation.  The lunch program covers 30 million children, and the breakfast program covers about 8 million children.  Federal spending on the two food programs, which provide free and low-cost meals, was $16 billion in fiscal 2009.... The modern school lunch program dates to the National School Lunch Act of 1946.  The program covered 7 million children in its first year and was expanded to 22 million children by 1970.  Congress has occasionally expanded benefits since then, for example, by adding an after-school snack program in 1998.  Congress began the school breakfast program as a pilot program in 1966 and made it permanent in 1975.

Breakfast is the Parent's responsibility, not the government's.  My mother raised all six children by herself for an extended amount of time before she remarried, and she worked two and three jobs to keep food on the table for many of those years, yet never once did she stoop to taking handouts from the government that were taken from other hard working people in the form of taxes.  That is not how we were raised.  You want something, children included, and you got off your rear ends and worked for it.

Expanding Federal Food Programs: Means-Tested Aid for Families with Children.  It is misleading to examine a few nutrition programs in isolation as if no other aid were given to low-income children.  This is particularly important since financial resources are fungible within each household. ... The federal government operates 71 different means-tested aid programs, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income families.  In FY 2011, government will spend around $475 billion on means-tested aid for families with children.  This amounts to over $30,000 for each low-income family with children.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  There are 184 additional federal, means-tested welfare programs, most jointly financed and administered with the states.  In addition to Medicaid is the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Also included is Food Stamps, now officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Nearly 42 million Americans were receiving food stamps in 2010, up by a third since November, 2008.  That is why President Obama's budget projects spending $75 billion on Food Stamps in 2011, double the $36 billion spent in 2008.  But that is not the only federal nutrition program for the needy.  There is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which targets assistance to pregnant women and mothers with small children.  There is the means tested School Breakfast Program and School Lunch Program.  There is the Summer Food Service Program for Children.  There are the lower income components of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).  Then there is the Nutrition Program for the Elderly.  All in all, literally cradle to grave service.

Why the U.S. Economy is the Titanic Headed for the Iceberg:  In 1929, there was no such thing as welfare, food stamps, aid to dependent children, or English as a second language programs.  American's didn't consider it the responsibility of government to pay for breakfast and lunch for school students — let alone illegal immigrants.

Children, Parents, and Obesity:  It seems that the true goal of Mrs. Obama's efforts is to expand government's influence over the care and feeding of America's children.  She has, for instance, linked the "epidemic" of childhood obesity to the related hot-button political topics of government health-care and welfare programs.  And the real motivation behind her signature initiative — the "Let's Move" campaign, ostensibly designed to promote health and fitness among American school children — seems to be to boost federal funding for the national school lunch and breakfast programs, and to increase the number of children eating government-provided and -subsidized meals.

Save the spuds! Senators Fight to Keep Potatoes in School Lunches.  A group of senators from potatoe-producing [sic] states are working to help reverse the "bad rap" that potatoes have received in recent years and to save the school lunch program from banning or severely limiting spuds in the national school lunch program.  Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mark Udall, D-Colo., have proposed an amendment to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill that would protect schools' flexibility in serving healthy fruits and vegetables in the school breakfast and lunch programs.

Tennessee schools get $3 million for fresh fruit, veggies.  Tennessee schools will share $3 million in federal funding for more students to eat healthy fresh fruit and vegetables this school year.  The state was awarded a $3.15 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prepare the healthy snacks at no charge to students in 156 low-income elementary and middle schools.

Your Money for 'Green' Schools?  A large chunk of your state income taxes goes to education, and schools benefit from a portion of your local property taxes, too.  Now the federal government is considering a big increase in its spending on school construction — with your money.  Already, as federal taxpayers, we pay $70 billion a year for K-12 education, much of it going to teacher salaries and school lunches.

What Suckers We Are.  Still paying full price for your kids' meals at school?  The government currently provides free or reduced-price lunch, breakfast or both for nearly 60% of all school-age children nationwide.  Households with incomes of up to 185% of poverty level are eligible.  In Philadelphia public schools, 72% of students have access to a universal feeding program — regardless of income.  Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey wants to nationalize that program.

Taj Mahal Schools.  The latest installment of this expensive misguided endeavor is a $100 million dollar school located in New York City's largely black Harlem targeting under-performing students. ... The facilities include 52 classrooms equipped with state-of-the art electronics, three science labs, a two-story library, a fitness room and dance studio.  Also included are in-school access to medical doctors, psychologists and a dentist while a school chef will prepare low-fat meals for breakfast and lunch.  Add a longer school day and extended school year plus after-school programs to help with homework and for those who stay around until 9:00 pm, sports, music and other activities. ... There is nothing in this catalogue of costly measures that will fix academic insufficiency.

Free Lunch:  Title I's formula for determining aid -- and its recipe for fraud:  Individual schools receive Title I funding based on the percentage of students that are eligible for the federally subsidized free-lunch program.  Though the lunch program is designed to provide food to low-income students who might otherwise go hungry, its guidelines do not require schools to verify the parental income of students who enroll.  The process to qualify for a free lunch comes down to parents self-reporting their income on a form that is turned in to their local school.  Federal free-lunch program administrators argue that the program has little potential for abuse because "the worst that happens is a kid gets a free lunch."

School Days, Gruel Days.  At Little Village Academy in Chicago, children are prohibited from bringing their lunches from home, and are required to eat the school offering.  This is a progressive move to join Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama in their crusade to combat childhood obesity, so try to imagine that horrible lunch food you remember as a child made exponentially worse by trying to make it "healthy."  It's pretty obvious that the kids don't like it.

School Lunch Madness.  About one third of American kids are now overweight, and poorer children are the most likely to be in that category.  So, educators are correct to be concerned about the nutritional welfare of their students.  Every school should be encouraging good health, right?  But forcing parents to buy school food is going too far.  This is nanny state stuff.  I know that under President Obama the nation is heading in that direction, but it is now time to pause and smell the meatloaf.

Chicago public school forbids kids from bringing their lunch from home.  No doubt, children will bring all sorts of stuff from home for lunch that fails to meet Michelle Obama's standards for "healthy" eating.  But what ... business is it of school authorities to play mommy and prevent kids from bringing a meal from home?

Michelle's Healthy, Hunger-Free Menus.  The growing sixth grader who eats his 1.5 ounces of turkey and throws his cup and a half of broccoli, cauliflower and green beans in the compost will probably not be hunger-free.  A Devil Dog at the convenience store on the way home will easily remedy that problem.

Looks like the meal you'd get in a vegetarian prison.

Michelle Obama's school lunch.

Looks like the meal you'd get in a vegetarian prison.

Southeast students served raw onions as snack.  No matter how you slice it, the days of milk and cookies are long gone as schools aim to provide students with healthy fruits and vegetables as snacks.  But raw onions?

It takes a vittle: First lady engineers government takeover of children's food.  In the case of obesity, the so-called problem is very much an illusion.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the average height of Americans has increased by an inch since the 1960s.  That's a sign of proper nourishment.  While average weight increased by 24 pounds over the same period, we're all living an average of eight years longer.  That's a sign of good health.  The bottom line is that Americans can take care of themselves just fine without help from Mrs. Obama.  It doesn't take a village to solve a public health crisis that doesn't exist.

Michelle's free lunch:  This free lunch bill, is not quite the free lunch it appears to be; it is paid for by reductions in funding for food stamps where people can actually select what food to buy for their kids, say potatoes or potato chips, in their food desserts.  And why do so many kids get "half their daily calories from school meals"?  This is another area of responsibility removed from the parent(s) and handed over to the government; parents don't even have to make their kids lunch to take to school.

Fighting childhood obesity the family way.  At the root of childhood obesity are two connected problems:  At the same time that children are consuming more "empty" calories, they also are getting less exercise.  Many factors have combined to foster a more sedentary lifestyle, even for children.  In many communities, children are not allowed to walk or ride bicycles to school.  Many schools have eliminated recess and physical education from the school day.  At home, the children are watching more television and playing video games for longer and longer amounts of time during the day.

Behind the broccoli: Liberalism's war on liberty.  What this country needs is a crop of healthy, hunger-free kids — and now, thanks to the hectoring of Michelle Obama and the terrible swift presidential pen of her husband, it has one:  the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Most Americans oppose Michelle Obama's Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act.  A significant percentage Americans oppose the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act pushed by First Lady Michelle Obama and signed into law by President Barack Obama signed on Monday.  Among other things, the $4.6 billion law allows the USDA to set nutritional standards for foods made and sold in schools; increases the number of children who qualify for school meal programs, and "sets basic standards for school wellness policies including goals for nutrition promotion and education and physical activity."

The Obamas Police Food and Football.  [Scroll down]  On the food front, Michelle Obama likewise said something that, given the context, conjures up a lot of history.  Speaking at a public school to commemorate the signing of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, the First Lady said flat out that the federal government must act because we can't just leave [child nutrition] up to the parents."  She means it:  The law she was on hand to praise gives the federal government the power to regulate the food sold in public school cafeterias nationwide.  We are a very long way from 1994, when Republicans were threatening to end the Department of Education in order to turn more power over to local and state control.  The federal food police are acting in the name of fighting childhood obesity, a real problem for which there is scant evidence that school lunches play any role whatsoever.  School lunches, for the kids who eat them, constitute one meal a day, five days a week, about nine months of the year.  They are not the dominant food source for the vast majority, if any, of America's kids.

Feed Me, Obama, Feed Me:  The Plan for Food Dependency.  What does any would-be tyrant need in order to gain control over the lives of citizens?  Three things come to mind:  martial law, socialized medicine, and food dependency.  In at least two of these categories, President Obama has already succeeded.

Feds Target School Bake Sales.  On December 3, the lame-duck House passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, previously approved by the Senate.  President Obama, doubtless preoccupied with such trivia as taxes, unemployment, Korea, and China, has yet to sign it into law.  A mere two hundred and twenty pages long, it has lots of provisions for allocation of funds, demonstration projects, and the like.  Many may be worthwhile.  However, included in the legislation is a provision authorizing the secretary of Agriculture to regulate school fundraising bake sales to ensure that they are infrequent and that the goodies sold are nutritionally acceptable.  Far from innocuous, that is yet another distasteful and unnecessary intrusion of the federal government into our daily lives.

White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools.  The White House is set to announce on Monday [11/15/2010] a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.  Officials in the White House, led by chef Sam Kass, and at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, have been working to build a coalition representing the produce industry and Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. schools, who recently teamed with Whole Foods to raise $1.4 million from customers to establish a grant program that would place salad bars in qualifying schools.

Make Way for the Milk Monitors.  [Scroll down]  Now, in an effort to feel better about substituting moral bankruptcy for academic excellence, educators and government bureaucrats have joined forces in a campaign to expose the evils of Nesquik.  That's right — chocolate milk is on the way to being off-limits on school grounds because liberals who are unconcerned with morality are presently overly concerned with obesity.  The same Food Police who, as a benevolent contribution to society, are in the process of emptying vending machines of pretzel sticks are now targeting cafeteria milk carts and discriminating against cocoa-infused foodstuffs.

Obama wants school vending machine changes.  The Obama administration will ask Congress to improve childhood nutrition by ridding school vending machines of sugary snacks and drinks and giving school lunch and breakfast to more kids.

Senators want to expel junk food from US schools.  U.S. schools with vending machines that sell candy and soda to students could soon find the government requiring healthier options to combat childhood obesity under a bill introduced on Thursday by two senators.  While school meals must comply with U.S. dietary guidelines, there are no such rules on snacks sold outside of school lunchrooms.  Many are high in fat, sugar and calories.

The Food Police:  Coming Soon to a Texas School Lunchroom.  School nutrition guidelines were recently announced by the Texas Department of Agriculture.  The 15-page culinary blacklist amounts to yet another attempt by big government bureaucrats to usurp the power of local governments, school districts, teachers and parents charged with the primary education and care of our children.

Senator Wants Limits On Schoolyard Junk Food A Vermont senator believes too many public school students are being sold what he considers "unhealthy drinks and snacks" during lunch in school and he wants the Agriculture Department to tighten up its regulations on such sales.  His legislation would "tighten" current federal regulations under the National School Lunch Program.

Anti-Meat Activists Target School Lunches:  A health scare over school lunches is brewing. The driving forces behind the junk science-fueled scare are the usual suspects — anti-meat and environmental activist groups, and politicians who do the groups' bidding.

Activists' Attacks on Meat Harm Health, Environment.  Over the years, Americans and others around the world have been subjected to a barrage of absurd claims about beef production and consumption that, in a rational world, should be dismissed on sight.  We have witnessed how, with enough money and sufficient coordinated effort, vast portions of the world's population, along with their elected leaders, can be convinced the Earth faces destruction because we eat meat.  These scare tactics are without factual support.

School Nutrition Bill to Study How Government Can Restrict Food Ads Directed at Kids.  A recently introduced House bill, said to mirror First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, would spend $1 million to study how the government can restrict food advertisements aimed at children.  The study proposed in the "Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act" would "examine mechanisms regulating marketing in elementary and secondary schools, including Federal, State, and local policies; contracts; and sales incentives.

New York schools' ban on homemade goods at bake sales has parents steamed.  Low-fat Doritos and Pop Tarts are in; goodies baked at home are out.  School officials say they're fighting obesity.  Angry parents say it sends the wrong message about food habits.

Well-Intentioned Food Police May Create Havoc With Children's Diets.  Earlier this year, our small Midwestern school district joined the food wars, proposing a new policy that would discourage all food in classrooms, ban nuts and sugary foods and do away with vending machines.  So much for peanut butter sandwiches, snacks for kindergartners and birthday cupcakes.

Suspension Over Sweets.  What does it take for a school to suspend an eighth-grader, bar his attendance from an honors dinner, and strip him of his post as class Vice President?  If you guessed drugs, alcohol, or a firearm, think again.  A bag of candy is reason enough.  This week, a Connecticut school levied these very punishments on an honor student with no history of misconduct, just for buying a bag of Skittles from his classmate.

Cupcake Crackdown:  Have the Food Police Gone Too Far?  With childhood obesity rates skyrocketing, the New York Times reports that "school districts across the country have been taking steps to make food in schools healthier because of new federal guidelines and awareness that a growing number of children are overweight."  A few school districts have actually banned cupcakes at school birthday celebrations, which has some parents up in arms, because, to many, "the cupcake holds strong as a symbol of childhood innocence and parental love."

Sorry, Cupcake, You're Not Welcome in Class.  The days of the birthday cupcake — smothered in a slurry of sticky frosting and with a dash of rainbow sprinkles — may be numbered in schoolhouses across the nation.  Fears of childhood obesity have led schools to discourage and sometimes even ban what were once de rigueur grammar-school treats.

The nanny party thinks parents are incompetent to raise children.  I'm not knocking Dr. [Susan] Lynch's advocacy in support of healthy lifestyles.  No one is in favor of childhood obesity.  It's just not the government's job, or the job of government-run schools, to keep kids from drinking soda or eating chips.

Animal Rights Group Attacks Katrina-Torn Mississippi Schools.  The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom has called on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a Washington-based animal rights group, to withdraw a callous school-nutrition "report card" it issued to public schools in Hancock County, Mississippi.  PCRM gave Hancock County a grade of "D," based largely on its complaint that the six-school district serves children meat entrees including "the BBQ pulled-pork burger and the chicken patty sandwich."

Super-Sized Statistics.  Using words like "epidemic," policy makers [have] rushed to debate on everything from "fat taxes" on junk food to the regulation of fast-food advertising, from Medicare covering obesity-related surgeries to banning sodas from schools.

Illinois Set to Ban Soda and Snacks in Schools.  The Illinois State Board of Education, following the urging of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), on December 15 began the process of banning the sale of high-fat, high-calorie foods and drinks to most of the state's elementary and middle school students. … While the proposed regulations have been developed in consultation with the American Heart Association, experts note there is no consensus on what junk food actually is.

Food Cop Fines Schools For Selling Fries.  Texas Agricultural Commissioner and self-described "Food Czarina" Susan Combs is robbing Peter and pummeling Paul. … The Carlisle School was fined more than $1,000 for selling Crystal Lite (which has only 5 calories per 8 oz. serving).  The Calallen Middle School received a fine of $666 because the bags of Chili Cheese Fritos were too big.  The Bartlett Elementary school was fined more than $2,400 for, among other things, selling fried potato products twice in a week.

Black-Market Bubble Gum.  Draconian food-cop policies almost always have unintended consequences.  Such is the case in Austin, Texas, where one high school's ban on snack foods has created a thriving black market for candy bars and other sweets.

The food police say milk is unhealthy for kids.  CSPI has added whole and 2% milk to their list of "poor nutritional quality" beverages and says they should be removed from schools.  "Anyone who would suggest that milk is unhealthy for kids is out to lunch," said Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom.  "CSPI once boasted that it was 'proud about finding something wrong with practically everything.'  Now it's proven it."

'Unhealthy' corn dogs, chicken nuggets out, sushi in at L.A. schools.  The L.A. school board's decision to stop serving flavored milks on campuses is just the beginning.  A menu overhaul is underway that will mean fewer meals that resemble fast food and more vegetarian offerings.  Spinach tortellini in butternut squash sauce and California sushi rolls, along with many ethnic foods, are to be added.  Corn dogs, chicken nuggets and other breaded items are out, said Dennis Barrett, food services director.

Mouse droppings, roaches, chemicals hiding in school cafeterias.  School cafeterias typically don't list mouse droppings, cockroach infestations or sneezed-on snacks among their lunch specials.  But health inspectors are finding these undesirable ingredients — as well as 60-degree yogurt and other critical health code violations — in the kitchens of Washington-area schools.  D.C. Public Schools racked up 296 violations in its elementary schools alone, and 124 more in its upper grades, for everything from blown light bulbs to dead rodents, as detailed in the most recent routine inspection reports.

'Healthier' school lunch at what cost?  If the federal government gets its way, critics are warning, school lunches will be more expensive and less appetizing and ultimately will leave school districts footing the bill for costly food going down the garbage disposal.

School Days, Gruel Days.  At Little Village Academy in Chicago, children are prohibited from bringing their lunches from home, and are required to eat the school offering.  This is a progressive move to join Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama in their crusade to combat childhood obesity, so try to imagine that horrible lunch food you remember as a child made exponentially worse by trying to make it "healthy."  It's pretty obvious that the kids don't like it.

School Lunch Madness.  About one third of American kids are now overweight, and poorer children are the most likely to be in that category.  So, educators are correct to be concerned about the nutritional welfare of their students.  Every school should be encouraging good health, right?  But forcing parents to buy school food is going too far.  This is nanny state stuff.  I know that under President Obama the nation is heading in that direction, but it is now time to pause and smell the meatloaf.

Teacher sells advertising space on tests.  Good morning, class, and welcome to U.S. history, brought to you by Molto Caldo Pizzeria.  In a cash-strapped Idaho high school where signs taped near every light switch remind the staff to save electricity, an enterprising teacher has struck a sponsorship deal with a local pizza shop.

The Editor asks...
With the government spending around $10,000 per student for public education, is there really any need to scrape together a few extra bucks by advertising in the classroom -- for a pizza parlor?  And aren't the public school teachers and administrators the same people who pretend to be outraged by the sale of junk food and soft drinks in the school cafeterias? [1] [2] [3]  Or cupcakes in the classroom? [1] [2

Paved With Good Intentions: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced Federal legislation that would prohibit schools from selling soft drinks or "foods of minimal nutritional value" (read: snacks) during times when breakfast and lunch are served.  It would also give the US Department of Agriculture the power to ban sodas and snacks outright on school grounds.

Obama Baits the Dependency Trap.  An [Obama] administration program will expand free school meal coverage to millions of young people who are not even supposed to be eligible. ... Here's how the program works:  if 40% of students at a school qualify for public assistance, then every student in the school will get free food.  That's free breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  If that sounds like arbitrary welfare waste, it is.  Sixty percent of the student body could be above the poverty line, ineligible for welfare, or even upper-class — it doesn't matter.  Every student magically becomes entitled.

Department of Redundancy Department.  GAO found that there are 18 programs that provide food and nutrition assistance administered by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services.  Those who get freebie groceries from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program can also obtain goods from the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).  Children get food from the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Milk Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

A Food Bill We Don't Need.  Feeding a child is one of the most basic parental responsibilities, yet first lady Michelle Obama wishes to liberate parents from this fundamental role by urging them to rely on the public schools to feed their children.  In [an] op-ed in the Washington Post, the first lady pushes for congressional passage of the Child Nutrition Act, a bill that would not only increase funding for the already-wasteful and badly managed school-lunch program but relax eligibility requirements so that more children can be enrolled.  It's clear that Michelle Obama, like her husband, sees government as the great fixer.

The Cloward-Piven Strategy comes to the lunchroom:
Federal government eying free lunches for all students in high-poverty areas.  The federal government could soon be paying for lunch for entire communities of children under a new plan in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Christina A. Samuels of Education Week reports that the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010 would allow schools in high-poverty areas to be covered under a "community eligibility" option that allows free meals to all students without the traditional paperwork to determine eligibility.

Free Lunch:  Title I's formula for determining aid — and its recipe for fraud:  The process to qualify for a free lunch comes down to parents self-reporting their income on a form that is turned in to their local school.  Federal free-lunch program administrators argue that the program has little potential for abuse because "the worst that happens is a kid gets a free lunch."  Federal free-lunch data, however, are used as one of the main poverty indicators for school districts and are linked to many other local, state, and federal funding streams.  So any fraud in the free-lunch program is quickly multiplied.

School Nutrition Professionals Flunk PCRM.  The deceptive Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) deserves a dunce cap for pushing its radical animal-rights agenda at the expense of children's health.  So say Albuquerque, New Mexico school nutrition professionals.  After initially assisting PCRM with its annual "school lunch report card," the nutrition coordinator (a registered dietician) for Albuquerque schools "said she probably would not have cooperated with the group ... if she had known more about it."  She told the Albuquerque Tribune:  "Real physicians would not recommend a vegan diet for growing children."

Swedish court to rule on school lunch fingerprinting.  Hungry students at a school in Västerbotten in northern Sweden must give a fingerprint in order to eat in the school's cafeteria, a practice which bothers data privacy officials seeking to ban the measure.  At the Lilja school in Vännäs, students must give a fingerprint accompanied by a four-digit code in order to receive a plate and enter the school's cafeteria.

The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer:  Means-tested programs are typically termed welfare programs. … The largest of these are Medicaid; the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); food stamps; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Section 8 housing; public housing; Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); the school lunch and breakfast programs; the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) nutrition program; and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).  Many means-tested programs, such as SSI and the EITC, provide cash to recipients.  Others, such as public housing or SSBG, pay for services that are provided to recipients. … Overall, the U.S. spent $564 billion on means-tested aid in FY 2004.

Do the Republicans have the courage to roll back federal spending?  Half of all Americans now receive some form of entitlement, whether Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, unemployment insurance, veterans benefits, federal pensions, food stamps, school lunches, the earned-income tax credit, farm subsidies, or disability payments.  Entitlements consume more than half of the $1.5-trillion budget.

School Lunches to Go GlobalU.S. effort to start a global school lunch program.  Guess who's going to pay for it.

The Obamas Police Food and Football.  [Scroll down]  On the food front, Michelle Obama likewise said something that, given the context, conjures up a lot of history.  Speaking at a public school to commemorate the signing of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, the First Lady said flat out that the federal government must act because we can't just leave [child nutrition] up to the parents."  She means it:  The law she was on hand to praise gives the federal government the power to regulate the food sold in public school cafeterias nationwide.  We are a very long way from 1994, when Republicans were threatening to end the Department of Education in order to turn more power over to local and state control.  The federal food police are acting in the name of fighting childhood obesity, a real problem for which there is scant evidence that school lunches play any role whatsoever.  School lunches, for the kids who eat them, constitute one meal a day, five days a week, about nine months of the year.  They are not the dominant food source for the vast majority, if any, of America's kids.

Fattening Government to Fight Obesity.  The child nutrition bill signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13 has been touted as essential to combating the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.  It is also a welfare expansion, adding $4.5 billion to the cost of school lunches.  Despite the additional six cents per meal which will be paid to the schools, critics say it amounts to an unfunded mandate which could bankrupt schools.

Mother Jailed for Enrolling Kids in Another School District.  An Akron, Ohio, woman was released from jail on Wednesday after serving 9 days of a 10-day sentence for enrolling her children in a neighboring school district.  Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, was convicted of two felony counts of tampering with records by providing false information on sworn registration forms, applications for free or reduced-price school lunches, and other forms she submitted to the Copley-Fairlawn School District, where she enrolled her two daughters.

Valpo sixth-grader handcuffed over spilled milk.  A 12-year-old faces two counts of resisting law enforcement for his alleged actions when he refused to clean up spilled milk in the Ben Franklin Middle School cafeteria.  A police officer was helping supervise the lunch period on Tuesday, because both the principal and assistant principal were in a meeting, and the boy got into a confrontation with a school staff member.

Girl, 10, Arrested for Using Knife to Cut Food at School.  A 10-year-old Florida girl faces felony weapons charges after bringing a small steak knife to school to cut up her lunch, according to a report on MyFOXOrlando.com.  School officials say the Ocala 5th grader had brought a piece of steak for her lunch, and a four and a half inch steak knife with which to cut it.  According to the report, a couple of teachers took the utensil and called authorities, who arrested the girl and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.

Many more stories like this are on the Zero Tolerance Page.

Police in Laramie, Wyo., Cite Teen Girls Who Threw French Fries for 'Hurling Missiles'.  Three 13-year-old girls accused of throwing french fries during lunchtime at their school were cited for "hurling missiles," an adult infraction covered by city ordinances.

Alar:  The Great Apple Scare.  Apple juice and apple sauce were thrown away.  Apples were taken out of school lunches, and parents on the border of hysteria called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about risks of cancer to their children.  The publicity campaign was so effective that sales and prices of all apples declined sharply, and 20,000 apple growers in the U.S. suffered substantial financial harm — even the large number who never used Alar.

The Obama administration is using (mostly black) churches to expand the welfare state.
Michelle's Machine:  [Scroll down]  Religious leaders are prodded to work with schools to "create a wellness club for teachers with volunteer instructors from the congregation" and to "help your local school install a salad bar in its cafeteria."  Most worrisome, though, are the administration's efforts to have congregations place themselves in the service of government as recruiters for the welfare state.  Congregations are told to "encourage eligible families to enroll their children in [government-subsidized] school meal programs"; if organizations operate day-care or after-school programs, they are advised to pursue reimbursement for meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (a federally funded, state-administered welfare program).  Places of worship are asked to serve as feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program -- another federally funded, state-run welfare project.

The Editor says...
Where are the "separation of church and state" people now?

Whatever you do, don't pray before eating your school lunch!
School prayer charges stir protests.  Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

Against the Rulers of Darkness.  We are involved in a war.  It is a war between differing political ideologies, mind-sets, and world-views. ... At its heart, it is a war between spirituality and egoism, a war between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong.  As I write this, two Florida teachers may lose their retirement benefits, and spend six months in jail for their "flagrant" violation of the First Amendment.  Their crime?  They said Grace before eating a meal, while on school grounds.

Update:
Officials cleared in prayer injunction case.  Two rural northern Florida school officials were found not guilty of violating an injunction against praying in school, a Florida judge ruled late Thursday [9/17/2009] in a contentious school prayer case that spurred a reaction from Congress earlier this week.

The Editor says...
That's good news, but the odious fact remains that there is such an agreement with the ACLU.

Florida Prayer Case Reveals ACLU Agenda to Criminalize Christianity.  Yesterday after an all-day hearing, Santa Rosa County, Florida, Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman were cleared of criminal contempt charges that arose from the simple blessing of a meal.  When they heard the decision, tears of joy and cheers swept through the throngs of people who had waited outside in the rain for over ten hours.




Peanut allergies

Is this a real problem, or just another environmental false alarm?  If it is a widespread problem, why did it materialize at about the time the internet came into widespread use?  Do we have this problem only because there are too many lawyers who will sue anybody for any reason?  This whole issue sounds to me like an email hoax that has been wildly overblown.

Tyranny Update:  [We would have been skeptical] back in the '60s, when the anti-tobacco movement started, if someone predicted that the day would come when some cities, such as Calabasas, Calif., would outlaw smoking on public streets.  Back in the '60s, had someone predicted that there'd be bans on restaurants serving foie gras; citations for driving without a seatbelt, that the government said would be unnecessary if cars had airbags; and school bans on kids having peanut butter sandwiches in their lunchbox, I'm sure people would have said that would never happen.

Harvard prof slams US nut allergy hysteria.  A Harvard professor of medical sociology has agreeably warned that increasing hysteria over nut allergies in kids bears the hallmarks of mass psychogenic illness (MPI) — described as "a social network phenomenon involving otherwise healthy people in a cascade of anxiety".  Writing in the British Medical Journal, Nicholas A Christakis cites the extreme example of when a potentially fatal peanut was "spotted on the floor of a school bus, whereupon the bus was evacuated and cleaned (I am tempted to say decontaminated), even though it was full of 10-year-olds who, unlike two-year-olds, could actually be told not to eat food off the floor".

The War On Peanuts:  North Carolina is the fifth-largest peanut grower in the U.S., yet peanut-allergy nazis have persuaded even officials in that state to crack down on PB&Js.

Sound Public Policy or Hysteria?  As someone with a background in public policy making and enforcement, I find it alarming that so much public policy today, particularly in schools, is motivated by fear-of-lawsuit hysteria rather than sound research, cost-benefit analysis, least restrictive means to meet the policy objective and other rational criteria.  One extreme example of hysteria-based decision making is the banning of peanut products in schools.

Nut allergies — a Yuppie invention.  Your kid doesn't have an allergy to nuts.  Your kid has a parent who needs to feel special. ... Genes don't mutate fast enough to have caused an 18% increase in childhood food allergies between 1997 and 2007.  And genes certainly don't cause 25% of parents to believe that their kids have food allergies, when 4% do.  Yuppiedom does.

Free lunch "safety":  Some people can die from eating ordinary wholesome foods like salmon or peanut butter.  If the government banned every food that was fatal to someone, we might all die of malnutrition.

The fear about peanut allergies is nuts.  What constitutes a peanut allergy for a parent is not what constitutes it for a doctor.  If a child has diarrhea or vomits after eating nuts, it may signal a food allergy, but it may also mean food poisoning.  The FAAN study did not confirm its subjects' claims that they were allergic to nuts.  That would have required medical records and testing, neither of which were included in the study.

Doubt Is Cast on Many Reports of Food Allergies.  Many who think they have food allergies actually do not.  A new report, commissioned by the federal government, finds the field is rife with poorly done studies, misdiagnoses and tests that can give misleading results.



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