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Monday, October 20, 2014

Skimpy School Lunch Outrage Misguided

If you've been on the internet at all the last five days or so, you've almost certainly seen the following:

The photo is of a rather skimpy school lunch taken by 17-year-old Kaytlin Shelton who is a student at Chickasha Public Schools in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Several media outlets have reported on this and much outrage has ensued. This is especially true of those in conservative circles who are eager to blame Michelle Obama and her new school nutrition rules. Yes, the nutrition nonsense pushed by the First Lady is yet another example of the overreach of Big Government, but as soon as I saw this, I knew that several things, besides the lunch, were amiss. 

Primarily, why is a girl, who evidently owns a phone with a camera, unable to afford a decent lunch? Of course, her phone could very well be an Obama phone. I suppose this sorry episode at least gives us more insight into the Obama's: Michelle, it seems, is just not as capable with lunches as is Barack with phones.

Kaytlin took the photo home and showed it to her parents. Her father, Vince Holton concluded, "I can go pay a dollar for a Lunchable and get more food in it." My reply: Great! Why don't you? 

Evidently, the reason Mr. Holton doesn't take it upon himself to provide for his daughter, is that he has bought the liberal lie that it's always someone else's responsibility. “Schools are responsible for children while they’re at school,” he said, adding that, “They’re responsible for feeding the children.”

Further complicating the matter is the fact that young Kaytlin is eating for two. That's right, she's pregnant with a little girl. I have just one question for the Shelton's (and the Holton's): Whose responsibility is it to feed the baby after she's born? 

If the Shelton's (or Holton's) truly need help, that's fine, and I imagine there are plenty of individuals and/or organizations in their area who are ready, willing, and able to provide it--including, though it should be to a very limited extent--government organizations. However, when you become significantly dependent on government for your provision, get ready for more cauliflower and crackers. 

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World


  1. It's probably true that each of us got the equivalent of cauliflower, ham, and crackers for lunch at least once a year when we were in school. Don't forget the chocolate milk! The real question is whether this was the standard or the exception. As the student thought it unique enough to take a photo, I will assume it was an exception.

    There are many reasons this may have happened, including emergency rations after a power outage or after discovery of a failed food freezer and ruined food. Of course, as a teacher you probably know this well.

    Personally I can remember cafeteria-provided chocolate brownies so packed with crystallized sugar they were hard enough to drive a nail.

    When Mr. Holton said of the school “they’re responsible for feeding the children”, we don't actually know if he had bought into a meal program or if he had provided lunch money for his child. Your assumption regarding dependence on social welfare is invalid until that is established.

    Lastly, you may need to reconsider the price of smart phones with cameras. Sure, there are I-Phones and Samsung Galaxys that cost six or seven hundred dollars, but I saw this (new in the box) tracfone listed on ebay for the unbelievable price of $9.99. Yes, that's nine dollars and ninety-nine cents. The seller sold over 500 units. Apparently the color pink is not trendy in kids retail, so blowout pricing is used to clear the shelves and make way for more profitable stuff. By the way, tracfone mobile service costs as little as $7 per month for frugal adults who don't use much data.

    Link to the cheap camera phone:

  2. True, many unusual things could have led to such a lunch, and today's teens are certainly capable of impulsive reactions. If Mr. Holton had purchased a meal program, I imagine we would have heard something along the lines of, "This is NOT what I pay for!"

    Yes, cell phones are getting less expensive, but on average most phones with a camera and a decent data plan are not that cheap.

  3. RE: "Primarily, why is a girl, who evidently owns a phone with a camera, unable to afford a decent lunch? Of course, her phone could very well be an Obama phone."

    Regarding your reply above:
    So you are assuming the girl had an expensive phone and an expensive data plan. It seems that condemnation by smear and inference based on generalized assumption is a hallmark of your style. Can't you base your remarks on facts that are pertinent to this story instead of generalized assumptions that may not even be relevant?