26 Jun 2015

Contraband: You Won’t Believe What Kids Are Sneaking Into School

When you restrict the flow of goods and services the black market responds. This is a fairly universal truth. Now schools operating under lunch standards championed by Michelle Obama are getting a lesson in this firsthand.
Kids in an Indiana school district have actually created a black market for condiments. That’s right, these kids are smuggling salt, pepper, and sugar packets into school to give away or even sell.
School administrators from Hartford City told a House subcommittee that they have experienced the rise of a “contraband economy” in response to the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:
“Perhaps the most colorful example in my district is that students have been caught bringing–and even selling–salt, pepper, and sugar in school to add taste to perceived bland and tasteless cafeteria food,” said John S. Payne, the president of Blackford County School Board of Trustees in Hartford City, Indiana.
“This ‘contraband’ economy is just one example of many that reinforce the call for flexibility [with the rules],” he said.
Payne noted other problems with the “one-size-fits-all” approach to providing healthier meals to students, including fewer kids participating in the program and higher food waste. The trend started in 2012, when the school lunch law, which was championed by Mrs. Obama, went into effect.
“Students are avoiding cafeteria food,” Payne said. “More students bring their lunch, and a few parents even ‘check out’ their child from campus, taking them to a local fast-food restaurant or home for lunch.”
Payne also said school fundraisers like bake sales, have been canceled due to the rules, and “whole-grain items and most of the broccoli end up in the trash” in his district.

The overall effect of Michelle Obama’s lunch program is fewer kids eating school lunches and high volumes of waste. We previously reported on how a large quantity of this food is actually being thrown away and then fed to farm animals.
Kids will not be forced to eat tasteless, subpar food. This black market of condiments is just an inevitable result.

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