last word on school lunches
For all those [and this issue is spreading around like wildfire] who assume I was a bad, lazy parent for using the school's free lunch program when Natalie was young and I was very poor (and I only used the discounted program, not the full free lunch), I say this:
I did not call the school and tell them it was their job to feed my kid. I didn't demand a free lunch. It was offered to me, just like it was offered - with guidelines and forms to fill out - to every single family with a child in the school district. I took the offer because it was there and because the money saved by not buying lunch a few days a week meant I could buy extra school supplies needed for special projects or vitamins or something better for dinner than macaroni and cheese.
It was there. I took it. I didn't demand it, I didn't assume that the school district had this responsibility to feed my daughter. Had they not offered, I would have made her peanut butter and jelly every day. But it was there and I had no idea that it was stealing or theft or whatever you people are calling it by filling out the form given to me, signing it and saying thank you very much, I would like a discounted lunch for my child.
Apparently, by engaging in this "scheme" for one part of one school year, until I no longer needed the "handout," (and the day I went full time in my job I called the district and told them to take my name off the program) that I was therefore labeling myself a socialist, a bad parent, a lazy parent or a child abuser.
Don't worry, John and Vinny and the rest of you. I'll have my kids make that macaroni art thank you card for you tonight. After all, I must be an ungrateful, selfish woman for taking the money right out of your wallet. When we are done doing that, I will tabulate just how much money I used from the school's lunch program and I will write a check to Mr. Wait A Minute from my comments so I don't suddenly find myself at the end of a lawsuit because I stole his money right from his pocket.
Of course, I won't be taking this tactic with others who are getting free lunches now that I'm financially comfortable. I have no problem with giving a kid a sandwich for lunch if it helps his parents get by while they are down and out. I also have no problem when my money goes towards gym equipment that all the kids use, desks, chairs and computers that everyone's children uses, supplies and teacher's salaries that benefit everyone.
But hey, that must be the bleeding heart liberal socialist in me.
Last word on that.
[For the record, I am not in favor of giving everyone free lunches and breakfast and raising the prices for those who can afford it. This issue, for me, was simply about the attitude some people have towards those who participate in the free or discounted lunch programs in various school districts]