Published December 09, 2012
Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch has never dined with Uncle Sam.
Even as the nation teeters on the edge of the fiscal cliff, the feds have found $30 million in extra lunch money to shower on city schoolchildren in the name of hurricane relief.
New York City’s 1.1 million public-school students can each get a free school lunch every day in December (and could have last month, too) — even if their homes were undamaged by the superstorm or they have no financial need.
Some parents are furious that the feds put this spending ahead of aid for storm victims scrounging for cash to pay for home repair and other basic needs.
“This is so wrong,” said Masayo Chalmers, whose child attends Staten Island’s PS 29. “My friend in Midland Beach couldn’t get any money from FEMA even though she lost everything. She’s the one who needs help, more than my son needs a free lunch.”
New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who pushed for the funding, say that the blanket offer was meant to cut red tape for families hurt by Sandy.