School Lunch

One Georgia representative feels that along with reading, writing and arithmetic,  broom pushing should be involved if students receive free lunch.   Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga, of course) believes children who receive a free lunch at school should have to work for it. He thinks that no child should learn early in life that there is “no such thing as a free ride.”

Kingston proposes that students actually do manual labor, such as sweeping floors and cleaning.

Currently under the federal free lunch program, families with low income at or below 130 percent of the poverty line qualify for free meals. Those families with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent qualify for reduced meals.

Kingston, who is vying to be his party’s nominee in Georgia’s Senate race next year, came out against the free lunch program during a meetingof the Jackson County Republican Party about the federal school lunch program.

“But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch,” he said.

Kingston isn’t the only one in favor of making kids work for their food.  In November 2011, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) received backlash when he proposed that janitors at low income schools should be fired and have students clean the schools instead.

“You say to somebody, you shouldn’t go to work before you’re what, 14, 16 years of age, fine. You’re totally poor. You’re in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I’ve tried for years to have a very simple model,” Gingrich said. “Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”

Let’s just forget the fact that kids in low income families have it hard enough as it is. So have them clean the halls and bathrooms while their peers laugh at them. All for a government bologna sandwich and some fries.



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  • Tani Tee

    I was recipient of free lunches when I was a child (a long time ago now). I am grateful for it because my parents were not able to afford those meals for each of us, especially if we were in different schools. I do, however, hope when I have kids that they I will be able to afford meals for them during school. Part of the reason, I am waiting out on having kids. It is a shame though that it costs so much to raise a child in this country. How sad. It keeps good people like me from being parents.

  • MimiLuvs

    “All people don’t have kids that they can’ afford. Some people have fallen on hard times…”

    And somehow, people forget this little tidbit.
    I live right around the corner from a food pantry that is open to the public. During my first year living in that community (the year 2000), there were short lines of people. Most of the people were homeless. Now, thirteen years later, the lines to the food pantry are long enough that it wraps around the building three or four times. Most of these people aren’t homeless.

  • Though I am certain that this comment will be misinterpreted and given a low rating and thereby hidden, I want to offer all of the “naysayers” who railed on me for my comments to really think about why they railed. Why was there anger and so many thumbs down? Obviously this is rhetorical because I think I know why; and it is okay. I am a provocateur and think outside of the box, had I not, I wouldn’t have a Master’s degree, teach at a college, battle systemic lupus, and raised a child on my own for the first ten years of his life. I would not have legally battled the biological father for child support, I would not have withstood diverse people saying awful things about me (to my face before the advent of a screen to embolden people). I have been poor, and I may be poor again.

    Never give that which is only unto those who will not respect it. My responsibility is my family…and hopefully, I will have instilled principles, morals, and values into my son that will give him a lifetime of physical and spiritual wealth. And that is not won by fighting endless battles or forcing ideas to others. My apologies to all of those who saw nothing but evil from another human being.

  • Yeah, and while they’re at it, let’s not only make them work before it’s legal, blame the children for being born into financial instability. This sounds like something an silver-spooned politician, who has no idea of what the struggles are for a child growing up poor, would say.