School Board That Denied Kids Free Lunches Realizes That's Not A Good Look

by Kristina Johnson
Originally Published: 
WISN 12 News/Youtube

Wisconsin realizes “screw them kids” is not a popular stance, reverses decision on free lunch program

The only school board in the state of Wisconsin that opted out of a free federal lunch program has now reversed course after a public outcry. The Waukesha school board initially voted against the Seamless Summer Option (a Department of Agriculture initiative that was recently extended to offer free lunches to all students in eligible districts for the upcoming academic year) on the grounds that umm… government bad! Suffering good! I’m paraphrasing, but it’s not far off.

A second vote this week reinstated the program, but just barely — the votes went 5 to 4 in favor, which begs the question, who the heck is voting not to feed kids? The board members who gave No’s apparently objected to the lunches going to all students as opposed to just those with a proven economic need, clearly not giving a crap that offering free meals to everyone helps remove the stigma for those kids who truly need them, and also helps feed the kids whose parents can’t/won’t/don’t apply for the program for whatever reason.

“If it’s food and free lunch today, it will be forced masking, forced whatever-we-want-to-do in schools because the mob will have the power to tell us what to do,” board member Anthony Zenobia was quoted as saying in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

I’m not really sure what the connection is between feeding hungry kids, wearing masks, and mob rule. Is this guy really concerned that if we feed kids too much they’ll grow strong enough to overthrow their adult overlords, or is he just crafting his statements with some sort of MAGA Mad Libs book? One seriously has to wonder.

Another board member, the aptly named Karin Rajnicek, previously said that kids offered free lunches would “become spoiled.” And I can totally see her point. If we let these greedy children get away with their free meals, what other basic human needs will they start demanding next? Indoor plumbing? Toilet paper in school bathrooms? SOCIETY IS CRUMBLING, PEOPLE.

But wait, there’s MORE! Yet another board member, Kelly Piacsek seemed to hint that there was some sort of conspiracy in play. “It’s time for parents and community members to start paying attention to the forces at work here,” she said. “When the federal government is responsible for feeding all students at all times regardless of need, they have ultimate authority and we don’t need local school boards anymore.” Um, yeah. Maybe we don’t need school boards if half the people on them don’t see feeding poor kids as a priority. Some of these board members are welcome to return to their jobs at the orphanage in Oliver Twist they apparently escaped from.

The people on the “we done screwed up” side of that 5-4 vote also had some things to say, and you know this school board has some issues when one of the guys who ultimately voted to restore the program had to explain that he just didn’t get the whole not having enough to eat thing. “I eat every meal every day. I cannot relate to being hungry.” If your head hasn’t exploded by this point, understand that that guy (Joseph Como) is the president of the board, and he apparently needed several weeks to understand that some kids get their only square meal of the day at school.

Como says he now wants to “make sure all children are fed,” and while it shouldn’t take a public backlash, marches, rallies, and multiple meetings to get to that point, better late than never, I guess.

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