On the face of it, the idea that the federal government should be involved in school lunches is . . . weird.
And yet Congress and a long line of presidents have pushed the notion of federally funded and controlled lunches; recently the First Lady, Michelle Obama, made a big deal about revamping the federal school lunch program. But as Baylen Linnekin explains, “Whatever past successes [the national school lunch] program may point to, by any objective measure, the USDA’s school lunch program has since earned a failing grade.”
Instead of going through another alleged upgrade, maybe the best idea would be to, as Linnekin puts it, “Separate School Lunch and State.”
And this isn’t an oddball, contrarian proposal. As Linnekin relates, “More than 1,400 school districts have opted out of the USDA School Lunch Program since 2010.”
Linnekin tells the tale of Meghan Hellrood, a high school student in Wisconsin who leveraged Facebook to hold a one-day protest boycott of her school’s lunch. “It’s not actually giving us healthy foods,” she said.
Maybe Hellrood’s protest strategy should become the norm. Brown bag it, America. Declare your independence!
Parents can make a sack lunch. Older kids can pack their own. And as Adam Carolla, king of the podcasters, has so often opined, even the poor can afford to make their kids a bean sandwich. We can do this.
Reform of public schools might best begin with lunchtime. Locally. With parents regaining some control and responsibility.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.