"Lured by the promise of federal subsidies (read 'free' money), school systems across the country went all in on the Michelle Obama pet project National School Lunch Programís Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that posed strict limits on calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates and sodium in school lunches and also limited the types of snacks available and foods served at other school activities. As was usual with the collectivists, we were told it was all about the children: particularly, childhood obesity.
"School lunch programs and vending machines have long been cash cows for school systems. The more 'needy' children that schools could recruit into their 'free' or 'reduced' lunch programs with the lure of two or three 'hots' a day, the more federal largess the school districts received. Vending machines peddling Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, chocolate bars and sodas could pull in incomes of five figures in a single year. Bake sale fundraisers typically pulled in hundreds more to help fund extracurricular activities.
"But it turns out kids donít want what Obama is peddling. School districts have seen a sharp decline in school lunch participation and a sharp increase in school waste. The lost sales have school cafeterias struggling to make ends meet. The end of fundraisers has restricted extra activities the kids could pursue.
"According to a survey by the School Nutrition Association (SNA), about 25 percent of school lunch programs have lost money for the past six months because of the new Obama-inspired menus. In New York, more than 75 percent of school districts are losing money because of the new federal lunch and snack regulations, Todd Fowler, food service director at the Bloomfield and Canandaigua schools told The Henrietta Post.
"The SNA reports that statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show a decline in student lunch participation in 49 states since the new standards took effect. Millions of kids are now shunning school lunches.
ď'The students are clearly voting with their pocket book,' Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robert Livernois told the EAGNews.com. 'What I see down the road, as these regulations become stiffer, is our paying customers continuing to vote with their wallet and going elsewhere for their meals.'"
Those students receiving free or subsidized meals aren't voting with their pocketbooks, but many of them have been expressing themselves by tossing unwanted food and drink into trash bins in their school cafeteria.
Count of American decency and ingenuity to salvage some of the healthy lunch items famously promoted by the First Lady that school children would rather leave untouched than eat or drink.
Fox News's Elizabeth Hasselbeck recently commented that "not only do [school children] refuse to eat [some of the food they are served], it's costing schools even more money when they throw it away."
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act enacted in 2010 incorporated nutritional guidelines from the First Lady's campaign to end childhood obesity.
Predictably, school children, even school children receiving free meals at school, did not always like what they were supposed to like and threw it away.
Trash bins in the school cafeteria filled with some good food and drink, including apples, oranges and still sealed juice containers.
On September 4, 2014, Daniel Greenfield, in "Michelle Obamaís Inedible School Lunches Lead to Food Redistribution" (www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/michelle-obamas-inedible-school-lunches-lead-to-food-redistribution/) reported:
"The U.S. Agriculture Department has found an upside to all those 'healthy' school lunches that students refuse to eat: It says schools can use the plate waste as a 'learning opportunity' to turn young students into 'civic-minded, community-conscious adults.'
"A blog on the USDA website explains that an elementary school in Northern Virginia is now donating untouched food to a local food pantry."
Greenfield's snarky, but spot on analysis:
"Thatís great. We can spend money on 'lunch programs' that wonít go to the kids. The entire setup is already pork city (the political kind) with lobbies for various agricultural concerns competing over what should be in the 'healthy' menu.
"Now money will be spend on food that kids wonít eat. So maybe the deliveries can go straight to the food panties. Because itís all for the kids."
BUT...while individual schools can't change federal law or federal policy, they can make the best of the situation and it's better that the health food be consumed by people who appreciate it than used as landfill and taken away for free than paid for to be taken away. Food picked up by a food pantry won't have to be paid to be taken to the local dump.
Kudos to those schools whose students may put those uneaten apples and oranges and sealed juice containers they have been served in bins from which they will be distributed to poor people who'll appreciate having them!
Is it "food redistribution"?
But it also American ingenuity making the best of a bad situation until food that students prefer to eat rather than throw away is made available to those students.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.