Summer Lunch & Story Time — H&N Wed. June 8, 2011. If you missed it, the pictures and the headlines describe a wonderful summertime program for children sponsored by the Klamath County Library and Integral Youth Services.
If you don't read through the entire article you are likely to think that children will be encouraged to read during the summertime while receiving a nutritious lunch. However, if you do read the entire story, you'll find out the program is little more than free food for children ages 1-18 who show up to a certain location at a certain time. However, only three of the 27 locations are at a library, where books are. Moreover, stories are going to be read to them. There is no indication that children will be "encouraged the read". What about the other 24 locations? Free, nutritious lunches for children 1-18, period.
What are the odds of a 1-year old going to this food-give-away alone? Right, mom, dad or someone will have to take them... oh yeah, and they can get food too. We all know how this works: the lunches are already made and will spoil if not eaten. This is not a for-profit enterprise it is a government give-away program so the more lunches given away the better it looks for the program. Matter of fact the program boasts that last year 600-700 lunches were given away each day — almost 29,000 during the summer.
There are so many things fundamentally wrong with this program such as teaching children food is free; teaching children when they turn 19 they need to look for a new government program to feed them when hungry; falsely marketing this program to the public as primarily a reading program with a free lunch. What's worse, open up the H&N on Wed. June 15th and turn to page A5. In the lower left corner there is an ad running for this program. So now we have money spent to give away food for free, AND money spent to promote the give-away. At least the ad is more honest than the H&N "news" article — the ad doesn't mention anything about reading, just about free food give-away.
Despite all of those problems the main issue with this program is that it is Federally Funded. Whew! At least we're not paying for it, someone else is, right? Unfortunately the cruel joke is on our kids and grandkids. The Federal Government is broke. It's borrowing $1.6 trillion this year to meet it's obligations (or better understood 16,000,000,000 $100 bills). The Federal Government is borrowing money (mostly from China) to pay for programs like this. In the future that debt has to be repaid, and our children and grandchildren will be saddled with that bill.
Free lunch? Really? No, sorry, no free lunch. Just another boondoggle to teach children how wonderful government programs are and how much government cares for them. Enjoy that sandwich Timmy, because it's going to cost you a boatload in taxes for the rest of your life.