The Waukesha School District board opted out of a federal program providing free meals to all students in the district regardless of family income, cementing itself as the only school district that eschewed the aid throughout the entire state of Wisconsin.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ensured that every school in the U.S. would be given free meals through June of 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move was a boon for thousands of public schools experiencing financial straits amid a sharp, COVID-19-related decline in tax revenue. The program, dubbed the Seamless Summer Option, ensured that school children were on a more level playing field when it comes to having access to nutritious food.

But on June 9, the Waukesha School District board voted to return to pre-pandemic federal assistance levels over fears that free meals would cause families to “become spoiled” or develop an “addiction” to the service.

If you get hungry, you can always chew on your boots straps.

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