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‘Free’ School Lunches Up 17% Under Obama

From an ecstatic New York Times:

Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools

November 29, 2011

Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program. Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth

The New York Times acts like this is not a tremendous success story for Obama and the Democrat Party, who want and need to have more and more people dependent on the government.

Students in families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty level — or $29,055 for a family of four — are eligible for free school meals. Children in a four-member household with income up to $41,348 qualify for a subsidized lunch priced at 40 cents.

But these absurdly high levels have nothing to do with more people signing up for free school meals. Even though food stamps and other food programs are doling out money also at record rates.

Among the first to call attention to the increases were Department of Education officials who use subsidized lunch rates as a poverty indicator in federal testing. This month, in releasing results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, they noted that the proportion of the nation’s fourth graders enrolled in the lunch program had climbed to 52 percent from 49 percent in 2009, crossing a symbolic watershed.

Again, what a huge victory for the Democrats. They want to get over this tipping point in all government programs.

We’re seeing people who were never eligible before, never had a need,” said Peggy Lawrence, director of school nutrition…

Yep. And that is the problem.

Although the troubled economy is the main factor in the increases, experts said, some growth at the margins has resulted from a new way of qualifying students for the subsidized meals, known as direct certification. In 2004, Congress required the nation’s 17,000 school districts to match student enrollment lists against records of local food-stamp agencies, directly enrolling those who receive food stamps for the meals program. The number of districts doing so has been rising — as have the number of school-age children in families eligible for food stamps, to 14 million in 2010-11 from 12 million in 2009-10

What an admission from the New York Times.

Luckily few people will read down this far.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “‘Free’ School Lunches Up 17% Under Obama”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    It ain’t “free” if I’m paying for it.

  2. JohnMG says:

    One little mentioned fact is that, once a school district reaches a certain percentage of enrollees, the entire district qualifies, regardless of need. this is why the numbers are skewed.

    Once again, garbage in–garbage out. But the votes are real!

    • Mithrandir says:

      TITLE 1 SCHOOLS: http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/11105.aspx

      Districts will bus-in, taxi-in, limousine-in minority kids from where ever they need to get them. ARE THEY POOR? Doesn’t matter, because schools don’t really check financial records, they just make claims “We have X% of minorities, therefore, we qualify for Y-government subsidy.” –Teachers don’t care about the kids, they care about money and union jobs. It’s all a rigged game, the gov’t rigs it, and the states and districts follow along with the rigging. –it’s not their money anyway…..

  3. Mithrandir says:


    ……many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

    If the rich were even 1/2 as smart as they think they are, they would have INVESTED IN THE MIDDLE CLASS when they had the chance. Instead, they have a rich-guy conference every few years, and throw money at stopping malaria in Africa, or some such feel-good ideas. Usually they profit financially or morally pretending to help others. (see Bono)

    Rich/Poor coalition: FAIL! We have invested TRILLIONS of $ on the poor, and what have the rich gotten by throwing a few pity dollars their way? More obnoxious / thankless poor, and appeasement of liberal activists. The poor will always demand more, and rich people get 0 return on their investments.

    Rich/Middle Class coalition: Had the rich invested heavily in grants for inventors, scholarships for college students, seed money for entrepreneurs, and encouraged the middle class to aspire to BE RICH one day, (thereby showing the poor the way out) they would have had a solid coalition of fiercely loyal people. But no, the rich sit on their stockpile, meanwhile, the middle class are drowning in $1 Trillion in college debt, don’t dare start a business to get rich and employ people or invent, b/c of the mummification of red tape the gov’t will heap upon them.

    So here is what we have. The middle class coalitioning with the poor as seen in this article. Democrats are winning because they are isolating the rich by giving the middle class welfare safety nets, lumping them in with the poor. All that class warfare talk about taxing the rich lately? –The poor and the middle-class peasants are not going to oppose that. If the Republicans and the rich invested $1 Trillion on the middle class, instead of the poor, the democrats would be isolated with a coalition of defective people.

    The more articles I read like this, the more I am disgusted that the democrats offer the middle class welfare dependency, and the Republicans and the rich offer them nothing. –The rich just sit on their pile of gold and say, “Well, you should work harder!” And the poor sit on their arse and say, “Well, you should work harder!”

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