Kansas School District Considers Making School Breakfasts and Lunches Free for All Students, Regardless of Need

free lunch
(Steve Breen for San Diego Union-Tribune)

President Obama’s former “green” jobs advisor Van Jones has famously said that transformational “change” must occur from the top-down, the bottom-up and the inside-out.

“Top-down” change — like “Obamacare” and amnesty for illegal immigrants — is easy to spot. Bottom-up, inside-out change, on the other hand, is much more subtle.

A good example of “bottom-up” change comes from Kansas’ Wichita Public Schools, where leaders are considering making the district’s free lunch and breakfast program open to all students, not just those from low-income families, according to KAKE.com.

Wichita’s potential free-for-all food program is made possible by a “community eligibility” provision in the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act — championed by First Lady Michelle Obama — that allows school districts with a high percentage of “identified students” to bypass the typical, free-lunch application process and to throw the doors open for all students, regardless of need.

MSNBC.com explains:

“Schools qualify for community eligibility when over 40% of their students are ‘Identified Students,’ meaning they automatically qualify for free lunch because they’re homeless, in foster care, enrolled in Head Start, or live in households which receive certain kinds of federal assistance, such as food stamps. If a school meets that threshold, then it can bypass the whole process by which individual parents apply for their children to receive free meals. Instead, the federal government subsidizes free meals for the entire student population.”

The Wichita school district “is eligible because at least one school has 40 percent or more of students who qualify for free or reduced meals,” KAKE.com reports.

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