Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free Lunch

So, there is a little secret a lot of us don't realize.

The city of Des Moines offers free lunch in several of the major city parks on weekdays. The program is there to feed needy kids.

My wife has gotten a free lunch for Elena on a couple of occasions. Sounds fine. Nice. Free lunch. They are strict about the food distribution, and make you dispose of any uneaten food. No one can take anything's better to throw in the trash than to let you take it home.

So, I gave it a little thought, and then threw this out to her. Government programs are funded and perpetuated to whatever degree they are utilized. If they give out 100 free lunches at Union Park, then that means 100 needy kids needed lunch. Right? The only problem is, how many of these kids need a lunch? It's convenient. And it's free. But is it needed? Does Mom not have any food at home, or no ability to pack a lunch? In my neighborhood, at Union Park, it looks like there are people this needy. But what about the kids whose parents could pack a lunch, and just don't do it?

I know most of you reading this blog are conservatives. Do you take the lunch? Do you realize you're really being just a tad bit hypocritical by accepting a government hand out that isn't even needed. And for the handful of liberals who look at this...doesn't it seem wrong that kids in need and kids who have plenty are both getting free lunches. One out of poverty, the other out of convenience?


  1. Funny you bring this up, Todd. The lunches (and breakfasts) are provided by the DM Public Schools and you can find the list of locations at the website at the "Summer Food Program Sites" link on the left side. I have a friend who's been getting these lunches for a few years now. I had thought it was a program funded by the city's Parks & Rec department, but I could never find any information posted on the city's website. I finally figured out last week in a DM Register article that it's through the school. So then my rationalization was that we pay property taxes for the schools, but since we homeschool we won't be getting much for the money that we're putting in. Might as well take advantage of what we can get for our money, eh? But this past week I've been thinking the same things you wrote. This is how so many government programs get expanded, and then we end up paying more taxes. I don't want to contribute to that.

  2. Thanks for actually tracking down the info Amanda. I've had enough response on this on facebook and from you it might be worth writing another blog about.