School lunch programs are being expanded rapidly. All 175,000 Palm Beach County public school students are now being offered a free breakfast. The only requirement to receive it is to show up a half hour before school starts. Free breakfasts used to be offered at county schools where 80% of students qualified for free or reduced price lunches, but this was progressively expanded so that now all 187 schools in the district offer free breakfast to every student, five days a week, regardless of need. Breakfast includes pancake sausage wraps, burritos, quesadillas, blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and cold cereal. Menus are available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Portuguese. This $96 million dollar Food Services program does not deplete the local school district's budget because the money for the program comes from state and federal grants. So the local district doesn't care how much it costs. One of the school board members supporting this breakfast program said she recalls difficulties finding time to feed her children breakfast before school. Boo-hoo. I thought giving kids their breakfast was a mother's job.
Across the country, breakfast and dinner are being added to students' school day expectations. So, I guess the breakfast program is a plan to make mother unnecessary. Schools will take over.
Federal regulations are now setting the maximum number of calories that can be in school lunches, and some kids are complaining. Congressman Steve King of Iowa has introduced the NO Hungry Kids Act, which would reverse some of those regulations. King wants to strengthen parents' right to send to school any food they want their child to eat.
Listen to the radio commentary here: