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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Old School

Harry S Truman signed the National School Lunch Program into law in 1946. That law was spit shined this past week with a number of new standards including a mandate to provide more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The new standards some experts contend will make America’s kids healthier through better nutrition.

The program which now offers breakfast, snacks and even dinner in some schools is touted as a low cost or free meal to our most vulnerable. Many who work in the school lunch program have stated that it is the only decent meals many school children get and without it they would go hungry. Therefore more and more dollars have been poured into this program as an anti-poverty measure as much as anything else.

The real question should be does more government spending and program expansion lead to less poverty? Statistics show that poverty levels are largely unchanged in the last fifty years despite billions spent in government attempts to eradicate the problem. If these anti-poverty programs were private sector businesses they would have been out of business long ago. If throwing money at the problem is not the solution then what is?

The solution to poverty, the health of America’s children and a host of other maladies lies in an institution that dates back to the beginning. The solution is marriage. The Heritage Foundation in a recent report shows that children who are born into two parent households where those parents are married are 82% less likely to live in poverty. The sad truth is that since 1946 the percentage of children born out of wedlock has increased by nearly 40%.

A society whose fabric is stability in the family structure is a part of the spiritual foundation that once undergirded our nation. A commitment to marriage in today’s vernacular is quickly becoming passé. Yet one thing we have is history as our instructor.

Many of those health elitists who champion government supervision of our lives and decry the unhealthy diet and lifestyles we live now always use as a contrast the simpler days gone by. Those good old days they tell us are when children were more active, ate less junk food, families ate dinner together and our world was a healthier and better place.  Those days were when the family unit was intact with moms and dads raising children not settling for the latest revision of a government program.  

The stability of any nation and the health of her children are in the home. Therefore the best “program” for us to pursue to make things right is called mom and dad.

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