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Georgia schools to offer free lunches - during summertime?

An e-mail sent out by the Georgia Department of Education late Monday indicates that Georgia Schools may be offering a free lunch program during the summer when there is no school in session.

School Superintendent John Barge (R) is encouraging an extension of a government-funded school lunch program into the summer when school is not in session.

Apparently, through a program called "Seamless Summer Option", lunches would be provided during a summer break via federal spending. According to the communication, "any child under the age of 18 may receive a free meal at any preapproved location throughout the state. There is no income qualification or registration requirement to receive this benefit."

While it seems like it would be a continuation of free or reduced lunch offered throughout the school year, it seems a bit odd to extend such a thing to a period when schools are not in session. The Georgia Department of Education and School Superintendent John Barge (who sent the e-mail) are encouraging participation in the program by school districts.

However, the fact there seems to be no qualification to participate in the program or identification required to participate - besides the fact that schools are not in session - would make this opportunity rife with fraud potential, not to mention government interference in an area normally filled by local churches and charities to provide the exact same sort of benefit.

John Barge has several primary challengers waiting to take him on in the School Superintendent's race this year. Six challengers are already lined up to face him, regardless of whether he runs for this post again or decides to undertake a quixotic challenge to Nathan Deal in the governor's race.

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