House Republicans Want to Limit School Lunch Program to Rural White Kids Only

school lunch


The House Republicans released a proposed agriculture and food safety budget on Monday. The budget offers less in food program funding than President Obama requested, which comes as no surprise. However, one specific provision in the House proposal should raise eyebrows. The House Republicans have scaled back a summer school lunch pilot program, so that it will be applied to rural areas only. The pilot program which was introduced with an initial expenditure of 85 million dollars, has been scaled back to a 27 million dollar expenditure going forward, with urban areas being completely cut out of the  funding.

More specifically the funding is confined to rural counties in the Appalachian region. So while predominately white impoverished rural counties will benefit from the program, predominately black counties in the Mississippi Delta, majority Hispanic counties in the Rio Grande Valley, and Indian Reservations out West will not be included. While, the program will not exclude non-white recipients from receiving the free summer lunches, by restricting the program to overwhelmingly white Appalachian rural counties, the message is nevertheless quite clear.  In the eyes of today’s Republicans, poor white folks in the conservative hills of Appalachia are poor through no fault of their own and should qualify for government food assistance, but poor minorities in urban areas (or high minority concentration rural areas) are undeserving of government help.

Democrats in the House were quick to notice that hungry urban kids are getting the shaft from the Republican House. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) who was born in the Bronx but now represents constituents in Rockland and Westchester Counties criticized the GOP measure arguing that:

Excluding children from urban areas jeopardizes the effectiveness of the demonstration program and is also mean-spirited. Hunger isn’t bound by per capita population data, and the children in urban areas shouldn’t be penalized because of where they live.

Lowey raised a rather obvious point. Hunger is hunger, whether it takes place in a rural hamlet tucked away in the hills or in a densely populated neighborhood in the shadow of downtown skyscrapers. Hunger is hunger whether the child is white or brown, and whether the child’s parents are Democrats, Republicans, Independents or non-voters. The Republican Party’s geographical bias, and the not so subtle racism that lies beneath their demographic prejudices is indeed mean-spirited.

35 Replies to “House Republicans Want to Limit School Lunch Program to Rural White Kids Only”

  1. I’m curious as to what, if any, rationale the Republicans offered for an act which on the face of it seems nothing more than mean-spirited and spiteful. Especially from people who largely claim to be “Christian.”

  2. The rational is kids parents who live outside of cites vote republican. Kids who live in cities parents vote Dem.

  3. Pure down right evilness. How long are we the people going to put up with this BS. Hardly a day goes by that they don’t show their fangs. They refuse give up money to protect our embassies, they refuse to admit that a woman deserves equal pay for equal jobs or women don’t have a right to do what they want with their bodies, just today they blocked a bill to give vets more benefits, even though they come back crippled, but that’s ok. They keep their loves ones home away from the battles, now they want to take food out of the mouths of kids. It’s time for the people to let them know we are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

  4. My problem with this is how can any God fearing man/woman vote for these republican devils. You would have to be out of your freaking mind.

  5. I guess Republicans only care about children hailing from those “pro-America” regions of the nation.

  6. How does one educate somebody that refuses to see what is right in front of them? How can you get them to see the whole picture of what this party actually stands for instead of zeroing in on a single point that they may believe in? Some how the blindfold must be removed. I don’t know at this point how to accomplish this. I do know that every Democrat needs to get to the polls in November and vote these worthless jack a$$es out.

  7. ‘Mean-spirited’ doesn’t begin to describe this vicious, EVIL thing they do in restricting this program to mostly white counties! May God smite them ALL down even unto beggary for themselves and their spawn!!!!!!

  8. Was it because that Appalachian demographic is not covered by *any other* school-lunch program, while black and inner-city demographics are covered by several?

    It takes no rational thinking whatsoever to say it was just to be racist.

  9. Notice when referring to this pilot program they refer to it as a “school lunch program” for deserving children BUT when speaking of programs for urban America it’s referred to “free lunch” for these lazy kids.

    Hmmmm you don’t see this???

  10. Mr. Brekhus a significant number of children receiving this benefit in “rural” areas are HISPANIC.

  11. Ditto….If we don’t vote these garbage tgop out we will be doomed. I urge everyone who is Democratic to vote! we must rid our gov’t of these brainless, heartless, obstructing, unpatriotic, racist because America is better than them!

  12. Republicans/Conservatives have always been this sick,twisted and evil. But now they feel that they have nothing to lose so they have removed their white hoods and they are burning their crosses in broad daylight.

  13. Was even a whisper of this conservative racist evil bill mentioned on any mainstream media outlet? The media is more concerned about pinning the VA debacle on president Obama and democrats. Even though the heart of that scandal is traced back to conservatives in congress as far back as dubya. Forced childhood hunger no big deal to the American media I guess.

  14. Something evil has taken over the Republican party. They may think they don’t have to answer to man, but they most certainly will have to answer to Almighty God. Justice will be served and consequences will come.

  15. True words!

    These pseudo and hypocrytical Christians give a bad name to those of us who try to live according the Gospel of Love as we were commanded to do. They have co-opted the word “Christian” in an attempt to control the government and form a theocracy with their ideology of greed, hate and racism.

  16. Ok, I saw the heading, “real liberal politics”….I am fiscally conservative, support my local tea party movement and support equal rights for gays. That being said, all the comments read like one of 3 people took turns writing. Is this the ‘group think’ I have read about? or is this site so uniformly self segregated no alternative viewpoints are allowed? Each of the geographic areas mentioned come with their own issues. A ‘Pilot” program is usually put into effect to further study the issues in one area. In the real world, one size fits all is not feasible. The last time I saw Appalachia poor on the federal table was during the TVA founding. The war of poverty, begun under president Johnson has consistently poured tax money into the urban areas, and the larger the area, the more they have received. in reading all the comments, all seemed to be focused on an imagined slight, rather then anything factual. For me personally, childhood hunger is one of our deadliest issues.

  17. You better not take any flights while belonging to the tea party and supporting gay rights.

    If you saw the heading, then most people would understand this would be a site of like thinking people. Most people that is.

  18. Marc,
    You will not find many friendly responses to anything that disagrees with the liberal hazing that fills the comment section here, but I find it quite entertaining. Funding for the school lunch program has increased from just over $10 billion in 2008 to over $16 billion. link:

    I do not see anyone starving. Food stamp spending has increased from under $40 billion in 2008 to well over $70 billion swelling its ranks to over 45 million strong. I work at a local food bank on the south shore and while there are people most definitely in need there is no one starving.

  19. The children are starving or they won’t pay to educate the children is liberal speak for give us more money. The problem as I see it is there is plenty of money, but the incompetence and bloat that is our government wastes so much that now it has to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars a year to keep all of these bloated programs afloat.The federal government is spending over $220 billion a year just on interest, and when the interest rates return to their historical norm this interest payment will balloon crowding out funding for other programs.

  20. You’re on a liberal website. What exactly is the response you are expecting when speaking right-wing BS?

    And how is that the Republicans who end up increasing welfare, but blame the Democrats for it?

  21. I hate to burst your bubble, but the deficit is going down.

    And where were your complaints under Reagan, Bush 41 and 43?

    Sorry, but it’s the Republican Party who has been fiscally irresponsible for the last 30 years.

  22. na, hate to burst your bubble, but I am neither right wing nor republican. I have no use for the republicans. I make it a point to back up what I say with facts from places such as the CBO and the census bureau. I would expect nothing less than to be disagreed with as we have differing opinions, but much of the exchange of ideas here devolves into name calling. While I find that entertaining it is not very elucidating. Heat helps anneal the mettle of ideas and thinking.

  23. na ,
    saying the budget deficit is going down is much like saying a drowning man is drowning less. None the less he is still drowning the the government is still broke. The Fed balance sheet has ballooned to $4.4 trillion from $800 billion. the federal debt has increased from $10 trillion to $18 trillion. After 5 consecutive years of trillion dollar debts in federal spending, yes we are finally going to slip under that historically high figure. I would agree the republicans have been equally poor stewards in the governance of this nation. Profligate spending. bloated budgets, wasteful government is not a the owned by one party or the other, they are both to blame, and there is plenty to go around. They have done a great job spending our kids and grand kids future.

  24. na,
    I do not mind being called what ever it is everyone here wished to use as a label because I know what I am. What I do find humorous is that whenever someone disagrees with the majority here they are automatically a right wing republican. If that is how you choose to picture me so be it.

  25. This is not a case of there not being enough money, but cruel politcal maneuvering at the expense of hungry children. They can afford the $200 million they pay their corporate masters to run the foodstamp program, but slash the amount available to people in need. Does it really surpise anyone that they consider children just another sacrifice on the altar of political expediency?

  26. @Nabsentia23, ignore @bostonbob, he’s just another WHITE NATIONALIST jumping on liberal websites begging for attention! the hopeless idiot claims he’s NOT a republican, then proceeds to spew republican talking points nonstop!!!!!!!!!!! BTW, he’s so desperate for attention, that when you insult his WHITE NATIONALIST propaganda he just LOVES it!! @bostonbob, it’s gotta be a BIT@H being loney and stupid simultaneously lol

  27. I’m wondering if BostonBob was one of those people who sent P.K. Subban racist taunts after he beat the Bruins in Gm 1 of the playoffs this year.

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