No such thing as a free lunch.


Message on my answering machine a few days ago: “Hello. This is Mrs. Taytortottes from the lunch service; your son, Green Bean McGee, had to charge lunch today. Please make sure his account is up to date so he will be served food again during the 10 hour day he is under our watchful care. We know children think better when they are well-nourished, but we decided to shame him and let everyone know his mother is a dead-beat who doesn’t give him any lunch money. If we don’t get his lunch money by tomorrow, we will not give his regular hot lunch, but a plastic-cheese sandwich on gummy white bread. Pay up, or we’ll send someone over…” (Dial tone……)

Turns out, I automatically deposit money in his lunch account, and for some odd reason, it was scheduled to be taken out a day later than normal. I looked into this when he informed me that he didn’t get lunch or breakfast that day, because he couldn’t charge it. Further investigation revealed his food services account was negative -$4.35.

Some families use the free/reduced lunch program. I think that’s a great thing. There is not a thing wrong with feeding a child food. One of the most powerful nations in the world (although we have slipped a bit) should be able to feed its children. According to the US Government site on school lunches, over 30.5 million students receive assistance in buying breakfast/lunch.If you guess the average school lunch is normally $2.50, that’s over $75 million dollars spent on food for our nation’s children. That’s a lot of tator tots. Compare that to the cost of the war in Iraq, estimated at over $270 million dollars A DAY. Some groups say a lot more. 


This may not be fair to compare our current long wars to a child’s lunch tray–to use an old cliche, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I did feel a tinge, a smidgen, of being extorted over food service issue. You’ll get your money. Keep your hair net on.