Food fight: Military leaders deploying to save Michelle O’s school lunch overhaul
August 12, 2014
Kyle founded Education Action Group in 2007.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Some 500 former military leaders are deploying to Capitol Hill in an attempt to save Michelle Obama’s changes to the National School Lunch Program.
Mission: Readiness, a group of nearly 500 former military leaders, is planning to “storm the Hill” when Congress comes back to town next month and urge lawmakers to keep new school nutrition standards intact.
“We’re not going to retreat our way out of the problem,” said Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, who served in the Air Force for 35 years and is now a vocal advocate for the group.
Formed in 2008, Mission: Readiness aims to ensure kids are healthy and educated enough to serve in the military — or just be productive civilians. For the top military brass, the obesity epidemic is increasingly seen as a threat to national security.
About 75 percent of young adults are not eligible to serve in the military because of obesity, lack of education and/or criminal records, according to Defense Department data cited by the retired military leaders.
While that certainly a worthy concern, some people with common sense would question what overhauling school lunches would have to do with curbing obesity. Based on a 180-day school year, a school lunch amounts to 15 percent of a child’s meals.
And, as parent Pamela Paulsen tells the Chicago Tribune, “Childhood obesity isn’t what happens between 7 and 3 (o’clock).”
She’s right. Proper eating habits are instilled by responsible parents, not one-size-fits-all government edicts.
Mission: Readiness has been using retired generals and admirals for some time in the school food fight and will dispatch them to any hot spot.
The group “flew in four retired generals from Kentucky last month to meet with Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to discuss their concerns,” according to Politico.
The site claims Maj. Gen. D. Allen Youngman visited with Rogers and told him they used to sell cigarettes in Kentucky schools, too, and they don’t do that anymore, either.
So now a Twinkie is the same as a cigarette?
“A far better course is to ensure schools that are struggling to implement these standards get more support,” Youngman wrote in a recent letter to lawmakers, according to Politico.
By saying “more support,” we can only assume that means more money.
“Simply put, we cannot have a sound battle plan for the war on obesity if our children are chowing down on unhealthy foods in the places where they spend so much of their time.”
Mission: Readiness vows to “bring out the big guns for the kids” this fall to preserve Michelle Obama’s signature initiative, which is taking heavy fire in communities across America.