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Lawmaker Proposes Free Breakfast and Lunch Kids “Work for Food” – Is This Fair? [POLL]

Flickr User USDAgov
Flickr User USDAgov

Do you feel that school kids who ordinarily qualify for free breakfast and lunch in school should have to earn it by working in school, possibly doing custodial work or other such chores?

It’s not completely out of the question as one West Virginia Republican lawmaker has recently proposed.

According to this,instead of soliciting private donations to go toward providing every child with a free breakfast and lunch at no cost, Del. Ray Canterbury said during floor debate. …”I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it,” “If they miss a lunch or they miss a meal they might not, in that class that afternoon, learn to add, they may not learn to diagram a sentence, but they’ll learn a more important lesson.”

Is it that radical a notion having to work for your food? And by “work”, just what should these children be doing, and how old should the children theoretically be that would be doing this work?

The report continues:

Canterbury argued that providing free lunches would ruin their work ethic and show them there’s an easier way.

Del. Meshea Poore said, “I’m offended anybody in this body would dare say a child has to work for their meals,” . “I can’t believe someone would say a first-grader, a second-grader … a fifth-grader has to labor before they eat. This isn’t an entitlement bill.”

Technically the bill is an entitlement.

And in principle Canterbury is right. Allowing the children to believe they can get something for nothing does not allow them to cultivate a work ethic.

But should first-graders have to do janitorial chores just to be able to eat a meal?
Personally I might support the implementation of this program starting with middle school students.

You be the judge!

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