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Author Topic: Michelle's $4.5 Billion Food Fight - Where's the money coming from?  (Read 1234 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: September 29, 2010, 01:23:31 AM »

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Despite heavy lobbying by the first lady, more than 100 House Democrats  have balked at approving the Senate’s $4.5 billion version of the nutrition bill because it is funded in part with $2.2 billion in cuts to SNAP, the federal food stamp program. They want assurances from the Obama administration that the funding cuts the Senate approved will be restored in the near future.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42800.html#ixzz10tQcIepr

When will the cuts to SNAP be made exactly?  This year?  Next year?

Quote
The $4.5 billion program would be paid by cutting future food stamp benefits.

More than 100 House Democrats, the Congressional Black Caucus and unions oppose paying for it that way.

The Obama administration argues the cuts won't happen for three years, but hungry kids need healthy, affordable school lunch today.

more here - http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13211660

Buying food today and paying for it in three years?
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 01:26:02 AM »

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The Senate would increase the reimbursement rate for school lunches for the first time in nearly three decades and would include a key provision to fund suppers during the school year, as well as implement mandatory nutrition standards for school meals.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42800.html#ixzz10tRSw8Jd

I thought the school lunch program was on auto-pilot?

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...the mainstream media has hailed these measly 6 cents as the first increase in the subsidized lunch reimbursement rate in three decades -- a false notion.

Apparently, no one in the press has actually bothered to read the rules governing the school meals program. If they had, they'd know that the disputed 6 cents are barely more than what the National School Lunch Program receives automatically each year by way of cost of living increases. This year, in fact, the reimbursement rate has already gone up 4 cents -- from $2.68 per lunch to $2.72 -- thanks to an adjustment in the Consumer Price Index.

more here - http://www.grist.org/article/food-09-28-2010-a-modest-proposal-ditch-extra-funding-for-school-lunch/
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 01:27:47 AM »

Are there other provisions in the bill?

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The 6 cent increase would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. But more important in this stalled legislation is a provision that would, for the first time, give the USDA authority to regulate all foods sold in schools, possibly meaning an end -- finally -- to so-called "competitive foods," such as sugary drinks and candy in school vending machines and ice cream bars and fruit rollups in the deli line. That would go a long way toward addressing the obesity epidemic that Michelle Obama has pledged to end.

read more here - http://www.grist.org/article/food-09-28-2010-a-modest-proposal-ditch-extra-funding-for-school-lunch/

More regulation?  How long before ALL parents are forced to buy expensive government approved lunches?  No more brown bags or lunch boxes?
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 01:33:24 AM »

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The bill has passed the Senate and may be taken up by the House in the next few days. While funding it would mean stripping money from food stamps, the substance of the bill itself is noble. For one, the secretary of agriculture would now have the authority to establish nutrition standards for foods sold in schools, even in vending machines. The bill would require schools to up the nutritional content of what they serve, increase the amount Uncle Sam gives schools for higher-quality meals and allow kids on Medicaid to qualify for free school meals without filling out an application.

How many people will be on Medicaid due to Obamacare?  In Wisconsin there is a Medicaid program that pays for illegal aliens. 

more here - http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-muckrakers/2010/09/poor-kids-may-be-getting-a-better-lunch-but-less-dinner.html

How many more will be added to the free lunch roster?
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 01:42:45 AM »

Half of Sampled School Lunch Applicants Can’t Prove Eligibility

USDA threatens to cut off funds if district conducts comprehensive audit


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As Carolina Journal first reported  in July, school nutrition officials have opposed a comprehensive audit of local school lunch programs, citing USDA guidelines that prohibit over-verification. Some county leaders and school board members, however, have pushed for a more thorough review, especially since the program is used by school districts often as a funding allocation tool.

“I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind, even though we’re pussyfooting around, that there are thousands of students here that probably are not entitled to this government benefit,” said Larry Gauvreau, a school board member for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Other elected officials call further verification efforts a “witch hunt” aimed at poor families. “Poor people don’t know how to steal from the federal government. They’re not smart enough,” said CMS school board member Vilma Leake.

more here - http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=5095

What exactly is 'over-verification'? 
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 01:46:51 AM »

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Some school board members still say a comprehensive review is necessary to weed out cheating and protect the integrity of the system. “There are thousands of people who probably shouldn’t be in that program. We know that. Everybody up here knows that,” Gauvreau said.

Other members disagree. “We must not ever deny any child the right to have a lunch or a breakfast or a snack,” Leake said. “The problem I have is that we’re always digging for something that’s not there.”

Tom Tate, another school board member opposed to a comprehensive review, said the district should focus on education, not fraud. “I’m tired, really, of the board talking about fraud in this program when we need to be talking about educating these kids,” he said.

Supporters of a full audit have pointed to CMS’ use of free and reduced lunch as a funding indicator as another reason to take a closer look at the program. The district uses a 1.3 multiplier for every student in the entitlement, meaning each enrolled student generates 30 percent more funding for his or her school compared with a traditional student.

“We use the numbers from this free and reduced-lunch [program] to allocate millions of dollars of resources to our schools in Mecklenburg County, and this number has no integrity,” McGarry said.

The school board is expected to consider a motion in November that would direct Gorman to use a measurement other than free and reduced lunch for resource allocation.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners also has stepped into the fray. County commissioners voted Oct. 7 to write a letter with the CMS school board to the state congressional delegation about the USDA’s inability to clarify promptly whether a comprehensive audit is legal.

“The USDA staff essentially said to kiss off,” Commissioner Bill James said. “I wish I could say all of this is shocking, but they just seem content to ignore it because it’s a welfare issue and a sacrosanct program.”

more here - http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=5095

I wonder how many Federal / State programs use some kind of 'school lunch indicator' to allocate school funds for other non-food related programs?
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 02:00:10 AM »

In the US, it's $9.8 billion in 2009, and served 31.3 million children.

What does the US spend elsewhere?

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There are currently 66 million children in the world’s poorest countries who attend  school hungry. At a cost of $50 per child each year, all 66 million children could be provided school meals for about $3.2 billion annually. These figures do not include the many chronically hungry children who do not currently attend school.

The McGovern-Dole Program will support about 5 million children this year, while WFP will reach more than 20 million children through contributions from the international community.  McGovern-Dole awards have been granted to the following countries for FY 2010: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.

Twice as many children for the cost of Michelle's upgrade?  Where exactly does the money in the school lunch program go?

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Additional health and nutrition interventions often coupled with school meals programs include: micronutrient supplementation, de-worming treatment, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention education and the planting of school gardens.

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In 2008, Congress reauthorized the Mc-Govern-Dole Program for five more years (2008-2012) as part of the Farm Bill and provided a one-time injection of $84 million.  When combined with the $100 million regular appropriation, $184 million was available for 2009. For FY 2010, Congress provided $209.5 million for McGovern-Dole, including $10 million to fund a pilot project to develop, pilot and field test new and improved micro-nutrient fortified products.

The capacity to feed and educate more children through this program is clear: not only is the program only meeting a small portion of the global need, but there is an immediate capacity to ramp up efforts. In FY2009, for example, there were nearly 50 applications requesting $700 million in funding.

read more here - http://usa.wfp.org/sites/default/files/u-129/McGovern-Dole%20.pdf

Why does the American program cost so much more?
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2010, 02:17:53 AM »

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School lunch has so many issues to chew on, it's tough to change

People often don't understand the complexities of school lunches. So the Seattle Times took a look around and did some homework on Seattle's program. What we learned is that lunch ladies aren't just grabbing whatever slop they have on hand and throwing it on the steam table. Quite the opposite. School lunch is arguably the most regulated, thought-about, fought-over and highly planned meal in America.

Lots more here - http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/2012903500_pacificplunch26.html

from the comments -

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Have the kids make and bring their own lunch. My 3 boys (elementary-HS) make 2 sandwiches, fruit, cookie, drink - about $1.50 a meal, healthy, and teaches responsibility.
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All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
they'll end up in your family anyway...
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