This Is The Fast That I Desire: The Boston School Free Lunch Edition

Because they are our children and because it is the right thing to do:

Boston public schools will begin serving free lunches to all students this school year even if families have the financial means to pay, school officials are expected to announce Tuesday.

The meal program, more than a year in the making, is part of an experimental federal initiative that aims to make it easier for students from low-income families to receive free meals by eliminating the need to fill out paperwork, including potentially invasive questions about income.

Cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago have been or will be participating in the free-meal program. Starting next school year, the program will be open to any school district across the country with high concentrations of students from low-income families. The cost of the free meals will be covered by the federal government.

“Every child has a right to healthy, nutritious meals in school, and when we saw a chance to offer these healthy meals at no cost to them, we jumped at the chance,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a prepared statement. “This takes the burden of proof off our low-income families and allows all children, regardless of income, to know healthy meals are waiting for them at school every day.”

…About three-quarters of Boston’s 57,000 students last year qualified for a free or a reduced-price lunch. A discounted lunch cost just 40 cents, compared with the full price of $2.25 in elementary schools and $2.50 in middle and high schools.

School officials say more students would have qualified for the perk if their parents had filled out an application.

Parents fail to do so for a variety of reasons, such as the forms being printed in a language they cannot read — more than 100 languages are spoken among Boston school families — or getting lost in a mountain of paperwork and notices that students bring home.

In a nation that flushes toilets using infrared sensors, we can do this. Kudos to Boston and the other participating cities for doing the right thing.

And to the libertarians offended by this: you are missing circuits in your fucking heads.

Aside: The title refers to this.

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1 Response to This Is The Fast That I Desire: The Boston School Free Lunch Edition

  1. Camilla says:

    My town’s schools use PayPAMS, and it’s rather horrifying; there’s a $1.95 service fee to add money to the account, which seems like it’s set up to penalize a family without enough cash flow to put in a term’s worth of lunch money at a time – yes, they have to bill for the service somehow, but this way seems regressive. (We are below the free-breakfasts-for-all income line as a town, so I wonder if this is coming for us, too.)

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