Free school lunches will ‘SPOIL’ families, Wisconsin school district claims

Free school lunches will “spoil” families according to a Wisconsin school district. 

In the state of Wisconsin, nearly every public school offers free lunches to children under a federally funded program responding to the pandemic. However, one school near Milwaukee refuses to provide free meals to its students, VT reveals.

As per USA Today, a school in Waukesha decided to hit the breaks at the program. According to board member Karin Rajnicek, it would make it easy for families to “become spoiled.” 

Joseph Como, president of the school board, said:

“As we get back to whatever you want to believe normal means, we have decisions to make. I would say this is part of normalization.”

Additionally, Darren Clark, assistant superintendent for business services, claimed the free access to meals would become a “slow addiction.”

In line with the traditional National School Lunch Program, children living in food poverty can instead apply for reduced cost or free meals.

Finance director Sheri Stack stated that kids who go to school with no food or money for lunch will be provided with a cheaper meal of cheese sandwiches that their guardians will be later charged for.

Rajnicek, the board member who believes free meals would spoil parents, explained:

“I had three kids. I had them and so I’m going to feed them. I feel like that’s the responsibility of the adult. I feel like this is a big problem, and it’s really easy to get sucked into and become spoiled and think, ‘It’s not my problem anymore – it’s everyone else’s problem to feed my children.'”

Meanwhile, parents hope the decision to deny free meals to children would be reconsidered. 

Heidi Chada, a parent in the district and a dietician, expressed concerns about the well-being of the students. As per Milwaukee’s NPR, she asked:

“My question is: Why are we the only [school district] who is opting out and saying eating a meal every day at school is not important for the health of our students?”

In April, the USDA extended the free-meal program, as it was estimated it would be able to help 12 million kids living in poverty.

According to Business Insider, about 36% of all Waukesha students qualified for free and reduced-price meals in the 2018-19 school year. Fortunately, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction said the district could choose to opt back into the program at any time. And many families hope it will.

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