Arizona Proposes Ending Free School Lunches For Needy Kids


Arizona Republicans set their sights on a new target for the legislative session: poor children. Earlier this week a state senate panel agreed to let schools opt out of the federal program to offer free and reduced-priced lunches for needy students. The measure now heads to a full senate vote.

Republicans sponsoring the measure voiced concern over imposing mandates on schools to take federal dollars they may not want to, relying on the familiar rhetoric of states rights federalism underscoring all social welfare policy debate these days. Of course, this argument entirely ignores the purpose of those mandates, and that is, in part, to ensure equality and uniformity of access to all citizens of all the states as part of a respect for federal civil rights.

And this move seems especially mean-spirited, even for Arizona Republicans. For many poor kids, their meal at school is the only guarantee of food they have for the day. The scientific evidence also could not be any clearer–hungry children have trouble learning and are more disruptive in the classroom. So the impact of eliminating free and reduced lunch programs would be immediate and, not surprisingly, poorer school districts would fare the worst.

It’s also picking a fight, or more appropriately, picking on, a constituency that literally has no ability to fight back. Poor children certainly can’t vote, nor do they have the lobbying strength to organize in opposition to the move. Instead, needy kids are left with the only choice they ever seem to have: figuring out a way to scrape by. In a country with as much as we have, all kids should, at a minimum, be able to afford a school lunch. Making sure all school districts have that as an option costs the state nothing. Why take that away from our most neediest citizens?

Take Action: Tell Arizona not to deny their students meals.


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Photo from USDAgov5 via flickr.


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Sadly not surprising.

LMj Sunshine

Sadly not surprising.

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.4 years ago

Hey, Arizona, now i really know where the Martians landed!!
Without going into too much detail, it was the military that first saw the need for a school lunch program across the country, during the draft that built the armed forces during WWII.
Undernourished students are as bad for the country as undernourished draftees!
Well, except in Arizona, and the Bible belt, where you folks don't want kids to learn anything other than the fodder with which you fill their heads.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

I just see "Arizona" in a title, and I know it will be something stupid, preposterous, ignorant. Ya leave me laughin' all the time .... just not those kids who are hungry.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago


jerry coleman
jerry coleman4 years ago

Remember when you are poor you are prey so the poor have to stand together and fight those who prey on you they dislike you not cause of you being black brown white or red know your enemy.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush4 years ago

Sorry - NOT arduous

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush4 years ago

This is arduous to figure out.
Just consider, the politicians who run this state.