Over 50% of public school children in the U.S. qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Aramark, a popular provider for prison cafeterias across the country, is also a common provider of school meals. They claim students receive “balanced meals,” but I’ve known that to include items like donuts being called wholesome because of the egg. America has a dangerously disconnected understanding of human health, but in 2016 we should all be able to agree that donuts, sugary cereal, chicken tenders, pizza, etc. are not the from-the-earth foods that promote healthy bodies, let alone active learning.
Many “lunch” programs include breakfast, and sometimes even an evening meal. That is a potential 15 meals per week, out of 21, provided directly by the government. The students who qualify for lunch programs are also more likely to be on Medicaid (CHIP). If the government (via taxpayers) is going to be in the business of feeding children, it should be seen as an investment in the health of our human capital, an opportunity to teach new habits through example, and a way to save money on the government’s long term healthcare bill.
In other words, feed the kids real food.