Traditionally, when a statement begins with, “Only in America”, the subject matter is positive and reaffirming about what a great country it is in which we live. The following, only in America tale is all too true and all too disturbing about what kind of nation we are becoming.
Compare and contrast these two scenarios; both true, real life accounts of government intrusions into our lives. The following are the verbatim lines in the story reported by the Carolina Journal earlier this year.
RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious. The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist
of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home. When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers
must supplement them with the missing ones.
Now, consider the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, (formerly known as food stamps,) a national program administered by the same agency, the US Department of Agriculture. Their website brags that some 46.5 million Americans
receive benefits, costing taxpayers over 68 billion dollars annually. They run an aggressive and expensive advertising campaign to encourage participation. SNAP recipients are given what looks like a credit card that meters out the proper dollar
amount of benefit each receives. Unlike the government employee invading the bag lunch of the pre-schooler in North Carolina on the one hand, that same government has taken a decidedly hands-off approach with SNAP recipients, prohibiting only alcohol,
tobacco, non-food items and hot food meant to be eaten in the store.
Apparently SNAP recipients are making unwise choices left to their own devices, given that obesity rates are 50% higher for the poor. When one is incapable of feeding himself or his family, one should also lose the right to self-select the food choices that taxpayers provide. The long arm of the FDA ought to be up to its shoulder in assisting SNAP recipients to make better nutritional choices and slapped away from the lunch bags of our children.