Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:52 AM

A Poverty of Common Sense

Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:52 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:52 AM

Here is an article by Mick Lindgren a janitor at a public school on poverty and free lunches. I understand this program for it was over 50 years ago that I used to get a free lunch when my father became ill and out of work. My free lunch did not continue after my father regained his health and it came with a duty to work in the cafeteria unless you were in grade school. I appreciated the lunch and was ashamed that I needed to be a burden…it is not the same today.


I recently heard an ad on the radio from Let's Move, Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign. It stated that nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African-American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40 percent of the children are overweight or obese.

Then, within the same hour, I heard an ad for the Food Bank of Lincoln stating that one in four children in America is hungry. Now I was confused. Do we have a hunger problem in America or an obesity problem?

The hunger advocates will answer that we have both a hunger and an obesity problem. Their claim is that the poor are not fat because they have and consume too much food but the poor are fat because they do not move enough and do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. They then blame this, of course, on evil corporate America for providing TV and video games that keep children from moving and McDonald's that keeps children from eating right.

I have a different theory. I blame this problem on the largest, most pervasive and powerful entity known to man -- Big Government. I work as a custodian in the Lincoln Public Schools. I clean up the cafeterias after the students get done eating. I have done this in both a grade school and a high school. I will offer a few observations.

The school feeds the children of Lincoln morning, noon and night. They feed them food that looks and tastes (I eat it) a lot like the food McDonald's serves its customers. My first observation is that the kids simply cannot eat all the food available to them.

We have 37 grade schools alone in Lincoln. Each one of them throws out barrels and barrels of perfectly good uneaten food. I know this because I haul it to our trash bins each and every school day. At first I was appalled by this waste.

I have been told that when free or reduced lunches are given to poor children, our federal government dictates that they must take it whether they want it or not. If they do not want it, then we must throw it away when it comes back on their trays.

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