November 28, 2022

Evidence Mounting that Michelle Obama’s Signature School Lunch Policy is a Failure

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Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

$15 Billion Program Must Be Reauthorized by Congress in September to Continue

Washington, DC – Mounting evidence shows Mrs. Obama’s signature school lunch program, funded through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, may be leaving kids hungry while not contributing to their health, says a new Wall Street Journal op-ed by National Center Senior Fellow Jeff Stier and Chicago food writer Julie Kelly.

The op-ed points out that the Act, which will be discontinued if not reauthorized by Congress in September, has led to kids in many locations throwing out ostensibly healthy meals, going hungry in school, and then buying snacks from enterprising food truck entrepreneurs who line up outside schools at the end of the school day.

The result? $15 billion spent by taxpayers and students who go hungry all day only to eat “items like pork rinds, hot chips, or fresh corn mixed with cheese and mayonnaise” at the end of their school day.

The Act, Stier and Kelly write, also wastes money by providing meals for students whose families have no financial need. Furthermore, Senator John Thune (R-SD) estimates that the program wasted $2.7 billion in “improper payments” during the last school year alone.

The program, Stier and Kelly write, also has laughable efforts to interest kids in the latest food fads, such as stalking kids in local parks to deliver carrots and giving tax-funded grants to “connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers.”

But are obesity levels falling among school kids? Apparently not, the authors write. In fact, they may be growing worse.

The article was posted on the Wall Street Journal opinion page on June 17 and can be accessed by subscribers here.

The authors are available for interviews. Stier is based on New York City and Kelly is based outside Chicago.