A few weeks ago it was reported that the feds planned to discontinue Philadelphia’s universal lunch program. For some of us, this was news–all kids in public school in Philadelphia qualify for a free lunch? With no paperwork needing to be filed? Amazing! In many areas the families of children who should qualify never fill out the paper work, and hungry kids miss out. Apparently it started as a pilot program there 20 years ago, and never left.
Well, the good news reported on all of the school food blogs this morning is that the program is thankfully safe, for the time being. The USDA has wisely decided to wait until the Child Nutrition Act is reauthorized this fall before making a final decision. In the meantime, many are calling for “Universal Feeding” to be expanded, if anything, into a national program.
Some are doubting: a commenter on La Vida Locavore warned us “not to get too excited,” since “the motivation has less to do with feeding children healthy meals than it does their ability get more federal funds.” And a commenter on School Lunch Talk rightfully wondered “How does making the same drek universally free improve nutrition?”