Speaking of free lunches, Democrats in South Dakota would like to make sure that all that milk and pork our crony-socialist ag-industrial complex produces gets to hungry kids. Rookie Representative Kadyn Wittman (D-15/Sioux Falls) proposes House Bill 1221, which would provide free school meals to all K-12 students.
Wittman’s straightforward title to HB 1221 reads, “An Act to provide free school lunches for students.” However, I assume it would apply to school breakfasts, too, as HB 1221 revises SDCL 13-35-2 to prohibit school districts from charging students for “any meal issued through a school food services program.” HB 1221 directs the Department of Education to cover any food service costs that are not covered by the National School Lunch Program.
HB 1221 allows schools to continue charging grown-ups—i.e., school district employees and Department of Education contractors—to go through the lunch line.
Schools provide the healthiest meals that some kids get. And we all know that it’s tough to learn on an empty tummy. So if South Dakota can afford to throw millions of dollars in free money at wealthy ag-industrialists, it can afford to throw a few million more at schools to ensure that every child has enough to eat.
The co-sponsors of HB 1221 are all Democrats. No Republican has yet signed on to this simple measure to make sure all the kids their party deems so precious don’t go hungry at school. We’ll see if Representative Wittman can bring any Republicans to their moral and practical senses on Monday, when House Education hears HB 1221.
Earlier this month US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the “Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative to reward schools that go above and beyond in the health of their meals, as well as provide grants to small and rural schools to improve the nutrition in their lunchrooms.” USDA wants to restrict sugar, sodium and non-whole grains in school meals and make other changes to the program.
We’re going to see how noble the farm sector can be with this bill. They seem to take pride in slogans about feeding the world. Nobility starts at home. There is no good reason why the commodity associations, the meat lobby and Farm Bureau and Farmers Union can’t get behind HB 1221.
Feed the kids, give them access to a better education system with well-paid teachers and build less prison space.
We’re doing it here in New Mexico and Minnesota is almost there.
No Free Lunch
Parents need to take a little responsibility for feeding their own offspring, or maybe they should all be wards of the state.
Since schools are prisons in South Dakota Corrections should be paying for inmates’ meals.
I agree with Grudz. We should all be self-reliant. But, see, parents pay taxes and they should get as much consideration for their kids lunches as fat cat business elitists get for tax-free lunches and their socialist subsidies. When we cut the business fat cats and socialist farmers out of the taxpayer till, that’s when Grudz can strip kids of their free lunch and breakfast. Otherwise, let the kids eat Grudz’ gravy and whatever sides come with it.
Look at grudz to see what breakfast brings.
Gee, Mr. Grudznick, thanks for letting us know that children of poor parents should starve in silence.
“The poor can never be made to suffer enough.” Jimmy Breslin
Grudz has never eaten Spitzmur and he shares a Z. Shame.
If grudgenutz had its way school kids would be selling ova and plasma to pay for breakfast and lunch.
The meals program at Rapid City Schools is in arrears for some $85,000 so why not have Mike Diedrich or Doyle Estes or Hani Shafai just write a check for it?
Didn’t Stan Adelstein do that a few years ago?
The kinder state of MN passed universal free meals for students in the House yesterday.
I agree with Donald about ‘entitlements’. This is not my idea. There are 2 types of tax payers, as it was told to me, people who make a wage/income, pay taxes, then use the remainder for living; and those who make purchases and pay taxes on the remainder. So income should all be ordinary?
Grudz – Is this ‘Right to Life’ thinking on meals for kids?
Schools keep foodservice distributors alive during the winter in tourist traps like the Black Hills. USDA is revising rules for school meals for locally sourced foods, more scratch-made offerings and less waste. The big three distributors: Sysco, US Foods and Performance Foodservice are already tooling for the changes.
School meals are part of the farm bill.
It’s about time this was done. Schools do not, as a rule, let hungry kids go hungry and try to absorb those costs within their school lunch program. As we see in Rapid City, this benevolence often leads to a deficit in that account. Rapid City is not the only district running deficits in the school foods program. It is a common issue in districts around the state.
How are lower middle class white people supposed to differentiate themselves from poor white people if poor white people get help paying for their kid’s school meals? It’s not supremacy and supremacy is supreme!
‘Taters and goats, Mr. Pay. My gravy comes with big sides of ‘taters and goats.
With luck some hermit will adopt Goatzilla and squirrel him away in a cave with no access to the internet. Little play on words, some hermit could kid nap Goatzilla.
Grudz, the children shouldn’t be punished just because their parents can’t figure out how to feed their kids.
A hungry student in the classroom can’t learn at the same level as a well fed student.
Remember, the schools are here to help the kids. Not to embarrass.them in front of their peers.
It’s a proven fact that the less a person is educated the more often they will become a Republican. Poorly educated people become bitter and the Republican message of “It’s not your fault. You’re a victim of the liberals.” is more easily absorbed.
Please provide absolute proof of this P.
Do you mean real education or indoctrination by a liberal school?
Please share your wisdom with the rest of the world. You are like MSNBC, all opinions and no facts.
@LCJ – If I continually do your research for you you’ll never get past the eighth grade.
The share of Americans saying colleges and universities have a negative effect has increased by 12 percentage points since 2012. The increase in negative views has come almost entirely from Republicans and independents who lean Republican. From 2015 to 2019, the share saying colleges have a negative effect on the country went from 37% to 59% among this group. Over that same period, the views of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic have remained largely stable and overwhelmingly positive.
Donald brings to mind an idea presented to me. There are 2 types of tax payers; those whose income is taxed as ordinary, paying withholding tax and living on the remaining or those who pay estimated tax, who pay tax after expenses with some sources of income taxed at rates lower than ordinary income. So who is responsible for our entitlements debate? I most likely butchered the idea explained to me. I apologize for that.
Is your idea of self reliance part of ‘right to life’ thinking? Or a religious teaching?
There are no free lunches.
grudznick knows this more than most.
I was just offered a free lunch tomorrow. Apparently there is such a thing.
Take a walk through a tropical forest sometime grudz. There’s free lunch everywhere. Of course, you may be on the menu of some creature as well.
grudz and now LCJ!!!! Your ‘kind’ are so ready and willing to welcome socialism from the governor Noem and legislature to large industrial corporate farm CAFOs in South Dakota (Dakota F Press –
but deny kids from meals in school. (Similar, of course to your resistance to Medicaid-I’m sure) The parents of these children are most likely working at lower-wage jobs (both, if married) -and pay taxes just like you and I to the state treasury. Why, why, WHY-are big-corporate interests deemed more welcome to our tax dollars ($5 million in above Cory’s reference ALONE) than are our own flesh and blood>???!!
When we raised our kids, I agree, we covered lunch money -but then not everyone had as good a job a I did, either! Esp. 30 /40 yrs later in today’s world.
What say you grudz, and LCJ- any comment? Do you believe in socialism??
Jake, you must realize that hypocrisy to the above mentioned is a hog wallow to be rolled in and then worn like a badge of honor amongst SD legislators and their butt buddies. No shame ever, just hold out your hand for more welfare, while stealing from the impoverished.
Indeed, Mr. Schriever. That is called “survival of the fittest”, and is not compatible with the libbie attitude of giving free lunches to all. In the jungle, everyone is for themselves, and many weak ones die, I am sure. It is very sad, but that is the way the world works.
I’m marking down another 3 goats on this blogging, which had 4 to begin with. A very successful goat harvest indeed.
Sorry Grudznick….the world is not a jungle, nor are people animals.
People are in the phylum chordate, class mammal, order primate. Many animals have social orders as complex as people. Today at the Conservatives with Common Sense breakfasting we will discuss if we are nothing more than just the apex predators, and also debate the merit of free lunch compared to the cost, which is insaner than all get out. $38,000,000 to feed kids whose parents can pay for it.
Let’s say I’m a father of identical triplets. I decide to see which of my triplets are “fittist.” At dinner I throw out a hunk of meat. I don’t cut it up in roughly equal portions for the kids to share. Instead, I say to them, “Kids, Grudz wants to see who among you will fight for your portion of dinner. The won who wins the entire hunk of meat will be deemed the fittist, and the two of you who lose will die.” At first the triplets start tugging at the meat each trying to wrest dinner from the other. Then almost simultaneously they say, “Grudz is dumb. There is enough meat for each of us to get a tummy full, so let’s share. There’s no need to fight for the scraps of meat that our elitist father tosses off his table. In fact, let’s figure out how we can share our dinner with our cousins.”
Now it’s easy to see that the triplets figured out exactly how humans evolved. If the kids hadn’t figured it out, the father would have lost two-thirds of his F1 genetic legacy. The kids, being smart and sharing food, perserved not just their lives, but the genes of the father. The kids learned that sharing and being smart enough to know that being fit means more than snatching food from your siblings was the way to survive.
Mighty good one, Donald! grudz brags about “getting goats” when his idiotic ideas exposed-always. In his book of ‘logic’ those of aged infirmity laden state shouldn’t be cared for by the rest of society–just left to die so that his theory (half-assed & baked) of “survival of the fittest” can work. Like his GOP friends inmany offices in congress like to play semantics-such is he. “Goats got”–my skinny rear-end!
The fittest evolve. The fit keep their tails.
The LRC fiscal note on HB 1221, based on data provided by SDDOE, says the state would spend $38,643,843 to cover the school meals not already paid for by Uncle Sam. Via the National School Lunch Program, the feds already spend $35,580,569 to feed our kids at school.
Consider that when the pandemic led us to make school meals free for all kids, the Sioux Falls School District saw 66% of students come for lunch and 27% come for breakfast. So even free lunch doesn’t bring everyone in.
If the same participation rate applies statewide (and participation may be higher at rural schools, since the kids out in Platte and Harding County don’t have the same easy access to McDonald’s as the Sioux Falls kids), the above spending indicates that Uncle Sam is covering lunches for about 43,000 kids and breakfasts for about 18,000 kids each day. HB 1221 would have the state pick up the tab for another 47,000 lunches and 19,000 breakfasts each day. Multiply that out by 180 school days, and the $38.6M that HB 1221 spends would buy almost 12 million meals each year, at a cost of roughly $3.20 per meal.
$3.20 per meal. Show me where else you can send your kids to get a full square meal for that price.
That $38,643,843 can be donated by Mr. Pay, and his swell brethren. Else, peanut butter sandwiches packed at home, and churches can donate the Skippy for the folks who can’t afford the duty of feeding their own kids.
Chrches, Grudznick??For an Athiest , you seem to want to tax the Christians twice. Why should the non-Goders get a tax break on school lunch??
Churches, Mr. Blundt, are full of libbies who want to “help” people. And my experience is the ladies of the churches make a fine hot dish.
Kids with full bellies learn better. Those who learn better become far more productive citizens and do a better job of paying into your Social Security taxes, my dear Grudznick. If hungry children get off the path of success now, those tax coffers go unfilled — as will then your plate of socialist welfare benefits.
Oops, autocorrect got me there, “socialist welfare” should have been “social security.” How could have those gotten switched?
Mr. O, we all do better with bellies full of nummies.
We all sleep better in comfy beds.
We all learn better with fancy computers and full internet connections with all the Gs.
We all rest with less stress when we know we are safely ensconced in our homes.
It is the parent’s duty to provide all that stuff to their kids. And the parents who provide it generally have more successful kids. I’m just sayin…
You’re living in a fantasy world, grudznichts. You’re a recipient of white privilege and you expect everyone to act the way your white privilege and your wealthy parents allowed you to act. It’s a make believe story and you believe every chapter is true. Shame!
Goatnutz has no shame. A welfarite of huge SD proportion.
It is bad enough to be truly hungry as an able-bodied adult due to poor circumstances. It is debasing to have to have that reminder in your stomach of what a sorry sight you are and that you need help to survive. To be a victim of hunger as a helpless, voiceless child is shameful on all adult society.
“Hey, let’s punish parents who can’t afford to feed their kids by making their kids go hungry”, wtf? Hunger will foster not only poor health and performance, but hunger-crazed uprisings. Nothing good ever comes from hunger. No good ideas, no ingenuity, no breakthroughs, nothing positive. The wild-eyed look is frightening, but the hunger-eyed look is possessed by the hounds of hell during a feeding frenzy.
I would come rob and steal from greedy aholes to feed the hungry:O
Many of you cannot see past your libbie hate that nobody is saying these kids should go hungry. And grudznick is saying we should not spend $38,000,000 to feed a free lunch which isn’t free to every kid just so the parents who can’t perform their parental duties are made to not “feel bad.” I’m not saying they should stand in a public humiliation like because I am sure some smart teacher can come with a way to sign these kids up without making their parents “feel bad.”
The kids whose parents can pay for their own lunches need to do so. NO FREE LUNCHES!!! Only breakfasts.
Good paying union jobs are surest the pathway for parents to do all the things you listed, my dear Grudznick. Right-to-work laws and the states that entrench promotion of the investor/owner class over the interests of the interests of the workers perpetuate the decline in the family that you list. Political parties that declare war on the poor in lieu of wars on poverty perpetuate those ills as well. I agree: we need to need to make America a Great Society again (complete with a Great Society’s tax brackets). Finally, it’s good to have you aboard comrade Grudnick!
It’s wishful thinking to think that SD Pubs could be so kind as to pass universal lunches for students. Republicans just don’t have the empathy to care about food insecurity among students. They don’t care and not one Pub will vote for it.
Looks like some lunchroom bullies ate Ms. Wittman’s free lunch.
Hideously poor states like South Dakota have really done it to themselves.
Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes like it does for people like Mike Sanborn you’re just another greasy, grimy grudznick groveling in the gore and grinding out every greenback you can grab. Yet, the Republican Party is gleefully and forcefully driving talent away to replace the workforce with a hateful dumbed down murder of Trumpian crows
Think Maslow’s Hierarchy: freedom means not going to school hungry.
The legislatures dumped the free lunch program on the cafeteria floor and then the hungry mob tracked through it, before the custodians mopped it all up and wrung it into buckets on wheels, probably yellow buckets.
Free school meals for all students coming to most Colorado districts
Dec 2, 2022 — Proposition FF promises free meals for all Colorado students. Most Colorado school districts said they plan to participate, but some Republican districts may attempt to opt out. Parents have threatened protests should they opt out.
Shame on you, South Dakota voters. Giving millions to corporations and nothing to your neighbors and their children. You deserve to be ridiculed and embarrassed by that ridicule.
According to the unanimous committee testimony, the kids are all getting fed in every SD school district they know of. And not reduced lunches (e.g., just a peanut butter sandwich) but the same lunch as every other student. So it’s not accurate to paint the situation as kids can’t learn because they’re hungry.
The issue, as I see it, is that parents who qualify for the free or reduced lunches aren’t filling out the forms that would cover the meals with federal dollars. Or, their income exceeds the threshold for those programs, and they just aren’t paying.
But since the current system is that the child gets a lunch no matter what… what incentive is there for parents to bother filling out the form, pay for the meal, or even answer the phone when the school lunch director calls?
Social programs ought to be structured such that the desired behavior (forms filled out, in this case) is encouraged, not ignorable.
And also, yes, food waste is embarrassingly rampant in schools. Stop by the closest school tomorrow at lunch time and watch completely in tact bananas and unopened prepackaged items pile up in the garbage bins. So it’s not like there aren’t enough calories in the cafeteria for all the children.
Also, if the bill sponsors are right about how this bill would lead to stronger academic performance, then they should have rolled out stats about the increase in academic performance for the months where the federal government recently subsidized all meals.
The tough question in David’s comment is how to enforce the free lunch rules: punish kids in need by taking away their lunches or find some other means to enforce the rules. The County General Assistance (Poor Relief) uses liens as a means toi collect whatever might be due for assistance that has been provided. A lien would not hurt a poor family, as typically that family has insuffient property or resources to use for collection. For the better off families such as home or proerty owners, however, a lien might be a more effective means of collecting whatever might be legally due. But taking food from kids to puniush opr coerce non-compliant parents seems a step way too far and cruel.
What do you think about using the monetary system for parents who are behind on child support? Doesn’t that system have the authority to garnish wages? That way the children still eat, but Dad’s paycheck/tax return/unemployment benefits is impacted until he fills out the form.
Free lunches = obese kids
Only if seconds are free too, Mr. Deplorable. Which begs a good question. When lunches are free (there are no free lunches), do those kids get free second helpings too? Is there a limit?
My 6th grader explains that at his school seconds cost $1.50 and they aren’t given to students that received a free lunch. And when a student’s balance is less than $10 they are prohibited from the a la carte line.
Hi David, There are many legal remedies designed to enable the custodial parent to take someone’s property or earnings to collect back due child support, including garnishing wages. The State will usually require a cudodial parent to assign that right to the State if the custodial parent is receiving public assistance. The State then will exercise that power to sieze assets or wages and in some case seek jail time for civil contempt or a violation of state ctiminal law. And if the absent parent gets far enough behind in child support he or she often can be charged in federal court with a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison I think, which is another method of coercing payment from the reluctant parent.
Is there a way to use that system for the school lunch program? And if so, would you recommend using it in that way?
Hi David, I have never heard that this collection method is used for the school lunch program.
As for whether I might recommend its use in paying for student lunch cost it would depend on the available options. Overall, making sure kids have adequate nutrition seems just as much, if not more, a public responsibility as a fundamental part of the public obligation to make sure kids have a safe environment for mandated public education. For example, we don’t make individual assessments against parents for the cost of keeping the buildings safe.
But if the people decline to accept a public responsibility of keeping children safe, then whether to use garnishment, levy, or jail as methods to collect money from a parent would depend on a cost benefit analysis of using such methods versus some less drastic alternative. In that analysis I would take into account the circumstances of the children and the parents when weighing the potential costs.
I agree that garnishing wages seems drastic, but the proponent committee testimony suggested that we have something of a crisis in terms of lunch program receivables. The form that isn’t being filled out is only 1 page (the 2nd page has no required fields for the parent) and can be found via the Rapid City Area Schools website here:
https://rcas.org/parents/280-autosave-v1/free-and-reduced-price-meals-cep/ (Follow the red “Free and Reduced Meals Application” link to the pdf.)
I just filled it out for my family and it took 6 minutes and 16 seconds. Most of the time was spent looking for my income tax return. However, if my family was on SNAP, TANF, or FDIR, that would not have been required and I would have been done in less than 2 minutes. At most, this form would take a literate adult 30 minutes to fill out… and I’m sure the food service program has staff that can translate and/or walk parents through the form if they wanted help.
However, using Cory’s estimate of $3.20 per lunch, this simple form represents about $550 in lunch receivables for each student per year. And maybe add another $200ish for students who eat breakfast at school. A responsible citizen would fill out the form. Or pay for the lunch. Or send a sack lunch with their child. Or at least answer the phone when the food service staff calls.
The parent’s irresponsibility to do such a simple task has major consequences to other people… but not to them. I don’t think that it is a moral solution to enable them in their irresponsibility. A society encourages freeloading at its peril. The parent should be made responsible for the consequences of their (in-)action, and I don’t think we’ve yet brainstormed a better vehicle for that responsibility than garnished wages.
Medicaid for all would create equity so government could more readily provide the services private enterprise is crappy at like medical care and education especially in broke and broken states like South Dakota.
David, I appreciate your viewpoint.
When I think about a “parent’s irresponsibility to do such a simple task” I am bothered by the realization that I have no idea why that parent acted in that manner. Perhaps I am projecting my abilities upon someone with greater challenges than I am facing and what I might consider irresponsible behavior based on my personal situation might be completely different for another person. Thus, I hesitate to consider any action or inaction “irresponsible” unless I have sufficient information about the circumstances surrounding that behavior.
I consider providing an education and keeping children safe and fed a public responsibility. When funds run short I feel it is a mistake to blame anyone other than the public officials responsible for determining what funds are necessary and then taking the steps needed to raise the funds by progressive taxation. When public officials fail to meet this responsibility it seems a mistake to call it a “crisis” and then scapegoat others, such as children’s parents that have not filled out particular forms, without knowing the circumstances in any of the lives of those families. Garnishment seems to be a tool for shifting blame for insufficient funding from where it actually belongs.
My position is that the public has already agreed to feed needy schoolchildren via the federal programs represented with the Free and Reduced Lunch form. Taxpayers are already doing this. (Perhaps you and I disagree on whether or not wealthy students should be fed by taxpayer dollars, but I think we would agree that their receivables aren’t the ones causing this crisis.)
Should South Dakota citizens pay twice for a needy child’s lunch when a parent is too lazy/irresponsible to fill out this simple form?
I absolutely agree that if there are extenuating circumstances for a parent we should be sympathetic for that and help however possible. However, the reason we’re seeing a crisis now isn’t because of a sudden increase in extenuating circumstances. When students went hungry for lack of a form in the past (roughly 20 years ago, if I recall the committee testimony correctly), most of the forms got filled out and the food service was adequately funded. But lately, since there isn’t the tiniest incentive to fill out the form now (or even answer the phone), able-minded parents stopped doing it.
Regarding filling out the reduced lunch form in Rapid. ISTM (it seems to me) and the evidence is apparent. Freedom hugging patriots view any government form as an attempt to manipulate them.
“Lazy freeloaders” is code for non-white.
Mr. Bergman’s comments are eerily similar to those who would deny equity in student loan forgiveness. Freedom for me but not for thee.
Nay,nay a thousand times nay!
Hi Mr. Bergan!
grudznick appreciates your viewpoints. Mostly I just wanted to say:
On today’s menu: white trash on gravy taters.
Somebody was having stickers made that said:
I suppose now that the law bill numbered 184.108.40.206 is dead, deader than dead, these stickers will just start appearing on benches and around the town in Rapid City. grudznick urges you fellows with these stickers to be responsible and not litter the public rights of way.
Food insecurity among SD students is too woke for the SDs overweight Republican Legislators. It’s a conspiracy, they holler.
Food for me not for thee, their fat bellies say. Bulllying trans kids with another hate bill is much more important.
Jenny, you can tell who else is fat by what they write on this blog. They’re the same ones who object to free Senior Meals.
I don’t know what culture these hogs who don’t think people should be fed for free belong to. Is this popular American culture or political Republican culture? It certainly isn’t traditional culture where children and elderly are cared for by those of us in between, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
Obviously, some of you have never gone to bed hungry or never denied a second helping. What kind of Christians are you? Oh that’s right, S.D. Republican Christians. The land of the fat and the free.
“6 minute 16 second David”—HI! Jfc, patronizing, ignorant rant. Answer the phone! Obligation?
Two voting issues, David. Say it with me. 1.) Global warming; 2.) Economic inequality.
Obviously you do not understand # 2. Get to work! All of your opinions above are vacuous.
Today in America, the top 10% of jobs take home nearly half of the income, and the richest 10% of households own more than 70% of the wealth. When affirmative action was created in 1965….Now imagine how even more lopsided this will be when African Americans and other minorities are no longer adequately represented at the universities where companies recruit their talent.
In elite colleges and universities, there are more students from the top 1% of income families than from the bottom 60% of families. Such educational credentials boost a person’s employability more than anything else does — including experience, uncredentialed expertise and interpersonal skills. Forbes, 2 wks ago, and 2 days ago.
About two-thirds of eligible voters do not have four-year college degrees
Euphemisms such as “cultural issues” and “white grievances” are used instead of directly and transparently discussing racism and white supremacy. Moreover, such euphemisms and literal white-washed-speech norms present white supremacy and white racial resentment and rage as somehow based on legitimate grievance instead of as a function of white privilege and other unearned advantages. Chauncey DeVega
Sorry that I upset you, and please accept my apologies for my tone coming across as patronizing. That was not my intent, although I can see how it can be read that way. I’ll try to be more careful with my phrasing going forward.
Could you please help me understand where we disagree? I didn’t see anything in your last 3 comments that I object to.
California pays for breakfast and lunch for every K-12 public school student, regardless of family income.
The district tbat serves Los Gatos and Saratoga has retained a professional chef to train its food service employees how to cook meals from scratch at a cost competitive with the usual heat-and-serve prefab meals. (He’s done this previously in Chicago schools too, so it isn’t something just for the riches.)