Citizens support opting out of federal lunch program – 283 citizens, 471 responses

Oct 25, 2015

Earlier this year, Londonderry High School became one of the first schools in NH to withdraw from the federal school lunch program. On October 25, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) decided to put the issue to Facebook members, asking, “Would you support your child’s school opting out of the federal lunch program?” 

A total of 88% of respondents who answered directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 90% majority said they would support their child’s school opting out, with 10% saying they would oppose such a move. Of the remaining respondents, 10% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 2% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 283 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 471 responses. 

Many of those who would support withdrawing saw the program as an overreach of federal authority.  “The federal government should not be dictating what anyone eats or how local schools manage their cafeterias,” one commenter wrote. “You can't dictate a standard meal for all areas of the country. Let locals decide what the kids will eat vs. throwing it away,” another suggested. Others argued that the program simply wasn’t working as intended. “If students are throwing the well balanced healthy meal away, they aren't eating it! It's better to give them choices they will eat!”

Supporters of the program argued that it serves an important purpose. “This program feeds children that otherwise would have nothing to eat. It's a no brainer,” wrote one citizen. “Some kids only get food at school,” another posted. Others questioned whether leaving the program would really improve matters. “I guess I don't see how the money saved by not giving them fruit and vegetables would be used for another ‘healthy’ food.”

Those who opted not to give a yes or no response discussed broader issues, such as why children were rejecting healthier food items. “Don't blame the school, blame the parents if their kids don't know how to eat healthy,” one commenter wrote. Another shared a success story of how the federal guidelines were implemented at her local school.  “It’s who’s running the program that makes the difference,” she argued. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Would you support your child's school opting out of the federal lunch program? Leave a comment to join the discussion. 


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