Free Suppers & Classroom Chefs – Think Tank Nonsense on the Taxpayer Dime?

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A Chef For Every Classroom

Free supper in the schools of Memphis now. Fairly soon, parents won’t have to do a thing. Everything will be take care of by the schools. Will teachers have to tuck them into bed next? Do the parents have any responsibility?

What kills me about these free meals programs is no one has to prove their neediness, they merely have to say they need it. I’ve been in schools where people taking advantage of the free meals included finely-dressed people in big homes with several cars.

70 Memphis schools offer supper to children now.

As part of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids legislation passed in 2010, the federal government is now in the supper business, budgeting $641 million over 10 years to make sure children in the nation’s ever-growing poor pockets get one more balanced meal a day.

“It’s wonderful,” said Larry Hopson, site coordinator at Shelby Oaks Elementary where about 100 children — prekindergarten to fifth grade — were at long cafeteria tables for their second government-subsidized meal — if not the third — that day.

“They are really enjoying carrots and ranch dressing dip. It’s exciting, ” Hopson said.

Then there is the Chicago Chefs in the Classes program. It’s an effort by Michelle Obama to teach children about healthy eating and it’s another expensive taxpayer-funded program. You’d think we actually had money given the way the politicians are spending it.

Chef in the Classroom is presented by Healthy Schools Campaign and the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with Purple AsparagusReal Men CookSeven Generations Ahead and the USDA. It is a program of Go for the Gold, a citywide effort to support schools in meeting the high standards for food, physical activity and nutrition education set by the HealthierUS School Challenge, the program First Lady Michelle Obama is urging schools to take on. In particular, Chef in the Classroom is a response to the Chefs Move to Schools initiative.

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