Friday, 17 February 2012

Fed Agents Now Monitor School Lunches

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According to the latest news from our bureaucrats in Washington, agents answerable to the U.S. Department of Agriculture will now be inspecting parent-prepared lunch boxes to make sure that children are being fed a lunch in their schools in compliance with government standards. If the parent’s lunch is rejected, the child will be required to eat what the school cafeteria deems appropriate and pay for it.

In a case reported in North Carolina and commented on by Rush Limbaugh, a parent was told by the Fed Food Police that the lunch she had prepared for her daughter was not in compliance with federal guidelines, which apparently now have the power of law. Instead the child was given three chicken nuggets by the school cafeteria. The report states:

A Hoke County preschooler was fed chicken nuggets for lunch because a state worker felt that her homemade lunch did not have enough nutritional value, according to a report by the Carolina Journal.

The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a U.S. Department of Agriculture agent who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch — which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips — “did not meet USDA guidelines,” the Journal reports.

The decision was made under consideration of a regulation put in place by the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to meet USDA guidelines. “When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones."

That’s what parents get for putting their children in government schools. It would seem to me that a cheese and turkey sandwich would be a lot more nutritious than chicken nuggets. But I’m not a nutritionist.

According to the federal mandate:

Kids will see more fruits and vegetables on cafeteria lunch trays as the Department of Agriculture unveils new school meal guidelines. The rules that will be put into effect over the next few years double the amount of produce in school meals. They also increase the amount of whole grains and set maximum levels for calories. Students will still get favorites including French fries and pizza under the new guidelines.

Lawmakers changed the proposed rules last year to count pizza as a vegetable because it includes a tomato sauce topping. Trade associations lobbied hard to keep fries and
pizza on the lunch trays. It will cost more than three-billion dollars to implement the new regulations. They are the first major changes to the meals in more than a decade. 

So now the federal government can tell parents what to feed their kids. And most parents will probably accept federal intrusion in their daily lives, for it seems that many Americans are quite willing to live under socialism, even though they don’t know what the word means. But the leftists in Washington and their leader, Barack Hussein Obama, certainly know what it means.

Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the American people have been so thoroughly dumbed down by their education that they can’t see the difference between individual freedom and government control. After all, the bureaucrats are doing it for the benefit of the kids. At the recent CPAC conference in Washington, we saw several thousand Americans reject socialism in no uncertain terms. The sessions were broadcast by C-Span so that people all over America could hear the conservative message presented loud and clear. Will it make a dent in November? Who knows. But there are over 45,000,000 children in the public schools being told just the opposite every day. Their parents may not care for the schools or their teachers, but they send their children there to be brainwashed and indoctrinated in 19th-century socialism, which will hardly fit them for a 21st-century high tech job.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they are now accepting applications for the Food and Nutrition Service, the National School Lunch Program for the fiscal year 2012, which include an Administrative Review, Training, and Oversight Grants. That’s what the massive amount of money ($10.8 billion in FY 2010) will be used for: implementing programs such as these.

Imagine, being trained to inspect lunch boxes and to make sure that every school cafeteria obeys federal mandates. That’s even a better job than screening air travelers! Being a Food Fed Agent may one day be as prestigious as being an FBI agent. There is no end to American political insanity.

It should also be noted that the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been long seen by the planners as the means of bringing a large section of the American population under full government control. The program, established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946, will make these children of the poor (and not so poor) virtual wards of the state. According to a report published by the National Survey of State Child Nutrition Directors and Local Activities in Selected School Districts in January 2001:

While using the school lunch application to identify children who are likely to qualify for health coverage as a first critical step, greater emphasis should be placed on aggressively facilitating enrollment of those children in health coverage programs.

The path to health coverage for children clearly can start with the School Lunch Program, but it doesn’t end there. Efforts to streamline the school lunch data transfer process, combined with continued efforts to simplify Medicaid and SCHIP enrollment procedures, are key to advancing systems for reducing the number of uninsured children. ...

Covering Kids is a national health access initiative for low-income, uninsured children. The program was made possible by a $47 million grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey, and is designed to help states and local communities increase the number of eligible children who benefit from health insurance coverage programs by: designing and conducting outreach programs that identify and enroll eligible children into Medicaid and other coverage programs; simplifying the enrollment processes; and coordinating existing coverage programs for low-income children.

In other words, social planners have been at work for over 10 years to find the best way to bring as many young Americans as possible under full government control and supervision. The National School Lunch Program in government schools is just a starter. ObamaCare now brings every single American under government supervision and control. So now that every child in America has health insurance through ObamaCare, the bureaucrats can have a field day conjuring up as many new regulations as possible, requiring the hiring of thousands of new federal employees to carry them out.

As we observed above, the National School Lunch Program was created in 1946. It is a federal “nutrition assistance” program operating in over 101,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential care institutions. It is regulated and administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It currently provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost, or free lunches to more than 31 million U.S. children each school day. In its 60-year history, the program has expanded to include the School Breakfast Program, Snack Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program and the Summer Food Service Program. In other words, the Federal Government is probably the largest food caterer in the nation if not the world.

In Susan Levine’s book, School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program, she traces the origins of the school lunch program back to the Progressive Era when local charities distributed school lunches as a way to counteract malnutrition. But over the course of the program’s lifetime, the interests of the agricultural and commercial food industries have largely superseded that of students. Indeed, the program’s menus are more dependent on agricultural surplus commodities than on children's nutritional needs. That’s probably why a homemade cheese and turkey sandwich was rejected by the Fed Food Agent in favor of chicken nuggets.

Back in 1931 when I entered the public school system in New York City, there were no school lunches. We all went home where lunch, prepared by our mothers, awaited us. I generally had a fried egg sandwich and a glass (not a cup) of coffee, very light coffee, like a caffe latte, although my mother didn’t call it that. Today, of course the Fed Food Agent would find that lunch totally unacceptable. That lunch did not cost the taxpayer anything. Many of today’s mothers are quite willing to provide their children with lunch boxes full of the kind of food their kids like. But the government intends to expand its lunch program, and they would prefer that parents turn the feeding of their children over to the public school. That would make more jobs for bureaucrats, nutritionists, cafeteria servers, school cooks, and pot washers.

Related article: State Inspector: Girl's Sack Lunch Unhealthy; She Must Eat Cafeteria Food