I have friends who have taught in inner city schools. Without exception, they have told me that, if a child’s parents are drug-addled, the school lunch may be the only meal the child gets. There is a tremendous virtue to feeding starving children.
Having said that, I found revealing a statement Michelle Obama made after her husband signed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a law that buffs up school lunch programs at the expense of food stamps (emphasis mine):
[W]hen our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it’s clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well,” Mrs. Obama said. “We can’t just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won’t be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.”
That’s statism in a nutshell, isn’t it? “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.” This absolves the state of any responsibility for protecting children whose parents no longer care for the children. It’s so much easier, instead, just to push all parents aside. This global approach has the purity of Occam’s Razor. There are no unnecessary details. Instead, there’s just a fundamental power grab.