I grew up in southern Indiana. On the opposite side of the Ohio River is my birth state of Kentucky. Although I personally didn’t live there long, my entire family are Kentuckians and one thing I know for sure is that they tend to hold true to their inborn traits which includes a strong spirit and rugged individualism.
Most people from this area are of Scotch-Irish descent. Their ancestors settled Appalachia before the Revolutionary War and certainly long before Ellis Island was even conceived. These are very tough people who for the most part have struggled to get by. Poverty is not uncommon in this part of Kentucky.
That’s why it piqued my interest when I read about the situation with the school lunch program in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Evidently, students are complaining that the federally regulated and provided school lunches taste like puke. The vomit flavored feasts are part of Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch program for poor students. Under this program, which results from passage of the Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, student lunches are restricted in calorie count, provide only skim milk, and feature “brown” bread.
As federal programs go, this one is as misnamed as the Affordable Care Act which we’re all learning isn’t affordable at all. This particular law presumably promotes “hunger free kids” but since most kids don’t find puke very appealing, they aren’t eating. Instead, they’re going hungry most of the day.
Parents and school officials are now in an uproar over the situation. For many of these kids, lunch is their only meal of the day. This means that if they’re skipping it, they’re starving. Isn’t that nice? At least when Marie Antoinette said “let them eat cake,” she meant the fancy French kind.
Michelle Obama, on the other hand, is essentially offering a Weight Watchers plate to a school of starving children. Frankly, Michelle looks very healthy. She doesn’t appear to have missed many meals and neither should these schoolchildren.
It always irks me how most government programs work. While certain adults are abusing food stamp programs with cigarette and booze purchases, poor white kids are going hungry all in the name of some trendy cause. As far as I’m concerned, they should leave the froufrou diets to the rich inside the Beltway crowd instead of experimenting on poor people because some government elites believe these poor people couldn’t possibly know how to eat.
Instead of tofu and calorie control, these school lunches should provide real food popular in the area. They should get decent portions of meat like chicken and beef or spaghetti and meatballs. Perhaps they could ask the kids what sort of food they’d like so they won’t have to starve. Being a kid is hard enough without being put on a federally mandated diet.
The Obamas clearly haven’t spent much time in Harlan County or likely most places in this part of Kentucky. I don’t blame them because much of the Obama administration’s effort is being directed at killing the coal industry which provides jobs in this area. Because of this loss of jobs, many families can’t afford to eat at home.
Let’s hope something is done so at least the kids can get a decent meal at school.