Pharos-Tribune

Columns

June 4, 2014

PARKER: Eating Michelle's lunch

To hear tell, the mean ol' GOP is waging war on Michelle Obama and, brace yourself, America's children.

Got it?

The newest war on women/children relates to the first lady's well-intentioned but disastrous school nutrition program, otherwise known as the Dumpster Derby.

First to good intentions:

Kudos to Obama for recognizing and trying to address childhood obesity. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until these little human pillows reach adulthood and then, assuming their hearts hold out, advanced age. Assuming, too, that our bottom-line bureaucrats haven't begun recycling high-maintenance humans by then. Might want to keep an eye on the Soylent Green market.

No, I'm not suggesting death panels. I'm employing hyperbole in the service of a point, the necessary clarification of which highlights our mind-numbing politics and our nation's diminishing sentience.

The first lady's "Let's Move!" program and her focus on whole foods (as opposed to fast) and water instead of sodas have been welcome developments. Who better to bring needed attention to such issues? Obama is merely expanding her maternal focus to include all those public school kids whose mothers apparently have forgotten how to make a sandwich. Or whose fathers have forgotten to say, "Get those plugs out of your ears and make friends with the lawn mower" — or whatever its urban comparable.

But, as is often the case with mammoth federal programs, one size does not fit all. Many school districts have inadequate funding to meet the new nutrition standards and have had to borrow from educational programs, in some cases shutting them down.

Moreover, the kids detest the food and are tossing their lunches, so to speak, into the dumpster. Some school districts report having to purchase or lease more dumpsters to accommodate the extra garbage, increasing their waste-collection costs as well.

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