Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch. And it wont be just Merrimack, New Hampshire. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 Federal mandate essentially implemented price controls everywhere School lunch is served to fund free lunch, based on federal guidelines, decided on for everyone, by a few hundred Democrats, in Washington DC, in the historically significant later part of 2010.
The Democrat Congress put the USDA on point for this program, and empowered them to manage the new federal programs under the premise that it can eliminate hunger and improve nutrition. But at the end of the day this is little more than Federal meddling, income redistribution (again), and using the promise of federal grants and support to turn your public school lunch program into a taxpayer powered soup kitchen.
And not just any soup kitchen. A soup kitchen that has to jump through hoops if it wants to please the Federal Bureaucrats empowered to decide who is worthy of what handouts and if local taxpayers must pony up to meet the federal requirements.
One of those retirements is that schools start charging students (parents) more for each lunch purchased (during a recession), to satisfy the mandated price defined by the legislation, regardless of how much the lunch actually costs. Yes, the Feds are telling local school districts across the Fruited Plain what they must charge for a school lunch; whatever cost reimbursement amount the feds are willing to provide for a free lunch, regardless of what it costs us to sell a lunch to a paying student.
The goal of the legislation is to give away more free lunches. And you had better give away those free lunches. There appear to be incentives for districts that optimize their lunch give-aways based on federal eligibility standards defined by the DC bureaucrats. So if the feds say you should be giving away ‘x’ number of free lunches based on the federal data for your district, regardless of whether anyone needs or wants them, you will fair better in the eyes of ‘The Secretary” if you can find them all and get them to opt in to the new taxpayer funded free school lunch welfare program.
Lunch Welfare by force. That doesn’t sound socialistic at all, does it?
Over in Merrimack (as reported by Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader) it sounds like this.
Matt Shevenell, business administrator, said the price hike is in response to the Healthy Free Kids Act of 2010, a federal mandate to increase lunch prices so that revenues match reimbursements provided for free and reduced lunches.
The new law requires school districts within the next few years to charge the same amount as federal lunch subsidies.
Establishes requirements regarding the nonfederal contribution required of school food authorities receiving federal reimbursement through the school lunch program. Requires food authorities that have an average paid lunch price that is less than the difference between the free lunch reimbursement rate and the paid lunch reimbursement rate to set their average paid lunch price eventually so that the total per meal revenue received for those lunches is equal to the per meal revenue provided by the federal government for free lunches. Sets forth the formula for setting the average price for paid meals. Requires school food authorities that have an average paid lunch price equal to or greater than the difference between the free lunch reimbursement rate and the paid lunch reimbursement rate to adjust their prices annually by the inflation adjustment factor used for federal reimbursement rates. Allows a school food authority to reduce the average paid lunch price if the state ensures that nonfederal funding is added to the nonprofit school food service account of the food authority to satisfy the requirements of this section.
There are breakfast bailouts if you start a school breakfast program (free breakfast! until the Federal money dries up or departs), subject no doubt to your ability to maximize participation in the free lunch program, and even bailouts for day care and adult programs.
The bill passed the Democrat Senate in early August 2010, then sat in hiding until early December 2010, when Democrats were ramming through lame-duck wish list bills after their humiliating November defeat. Obama signed it as fast as he could.
If it is not obvious, I do not approve, even though my kids have been eligible for free or reduced lunch for as long as I have had kids. And no, I have never used the program because I simply do not need it–my kids bag lunch-it or pay regular price for hot lunch. Despite what the government says we are ligible for.
S. 3307 is just a power grab that federalizes lunch, complete with the hoops, loops, ass-kissing, report filing, administrative state expanding, bureaucrat paying, income redistributing BS, of which the weight of expense and responsibility will inevitably fall on local governments who–for a fraction of the cost now (in most cases)–could have, or already have, dealt more than adequately with their own local situation.
But that’s not good enough. We have to increases the cost for a school lunch, over what it actually costs, becasue the Federal government said we must. (It is the law.) And if we don’t spend it and the bureaucrats at the USDA don’t mandate its use in other ways–which is always possible, it probably becomes another slush fund worthy of fraud and abuse. Lord knows we need more of those.
You are reading "Federal Mandate Drives up Local School Lunch Prices" by Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com.(Home)