Get Your Nose Outta My Packed Lunch!!!

Get Your Nose Outta My Packed Lunch!!!

Danny Quinney

Earlier this week I heard about an incident in Raeford, North Carolina.  Apparently a state worker was checking lunches of elementary school students to make sure they met the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for nutrition.  This unidentified state worker told a student her lunch, packed by her mother “was not nutritious and did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines…Instead, the child’s lunch of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice was allegedly replaced with school cafeteria chicken nuggets. The student also brought home a bill for the cost of the school lunch she had to eat instead.”

Let me tell you.  I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to express how I feel about this story.  This is wrong on SOOOOOO many levels.

Now, to be fair, this is the other side of the story: “Assistant Superintendent Bob Barnes said the official didn’t tell the child she had to replace her lunch with chicken nuggets. Instead, they told her she had to go through the line and get some milk – per federal guidelines – and she misunderstood and replaced her entire lunch.

“I think that the child became confused about what she had to do. I think the child, instead of going over and picking up the milk, I think the child, for whatever reason, thought she had to go through the line and get a school meal which, that’s not our policy,” said Barnes.

I wasn’t there, but I have a REAAAAAALY hard time believing a kid would get, “go get some milk”, confused with, “Don’t eat that, take it home, and go eat some of those crappy chicken nuggets.”  But that’s just me.

I’ll concede the child may have been confused.  That still doesn’t excuse any representative from the government looking into a child’s lunch box.  What I, as a parent, chose to feed my family is MY business.  No one else’s.  The only concern a school should have regarding food guidelines should be on the meals provided to the students from them. Period.  What if the child has a food allergy?  What if they required a Kosher meal?  Apparently it doesn’t matter.  There are federal guidelines.

Congress members Larry Kissell and Renee Elmers penned a letter to Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Agriculture Department Secretary. (Read the letter here.)  In the letter they state, “This unfortunate and absolutely unnecessary event exemplifies the very definition of ‘government over reach’ and further perpetuates a growing reason of why the American people continue to hold less and less faith in our government.”  They went on to say it was a waste of money and an embarrassment to North Carolina schools.

No kidding.

A few years ago I was reading “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand (a ridiculously long book, but one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read.) She said, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

I can’t think of anyone more innocent then children.

  • Sharalyn Heeren
    Posted at 14:47h, 18 February

    I continue to enjoy the comments by Danny Quinney. He is able to isolate serious problems in our society and format them in a way that reinforces to the reader how serious and ridiculous government intervention has become.

    I volunteer at an elementary school in our neighborhood. At the beginning of the year the students and I spend time getting to know each other. After eleven years of volunteering and discussing our favorites, the reigning cafeteria food is pepperoni pizza. Pepperoni, soft cheese and white flour crust is not exactly my idea of a well balanced meal.

    Nuggets on the other hand, their second choice and apparently the first choice of the “food police” in North Carolina, are made with chicken parts molded into an unnatural form, covered with a crust, deep fried, and then reheated for the children we are claiming to protect.

    There are bad parents. They are rare. Most of us are dedicated to doing the best we can possibly do to care for, protect, and nurture our children.

    The governments needs to look within itself to discover the areas of society that need to be restructured. They need to clean their own house and then get out of the way.

    Sharalyn Heeren.

  • Mel Ray
    Posted at 19:38h, 19 February

    Its nobody business, least of all any form of government, what my children or any of my family eats. Our ONLY concern is that we don’t have children going without any food.. Beyond that, the government needs to mind its own business. The insidious way government is creeping into our lives is terrifying.

    I have read other articles written by this author. They are well written, interesting, informative and thought provoking. Keep up the good work and keep ’em coming!

    We are fast becoming a third world country. It makes me angry because it is so unnecessary.

    Mel Ray

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