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‘Lunch-In’ Protests Crackdown on Homemade Lunches

2:24 PM, Feb 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The National Center for Public Policy Research hosted a “lunch-in” today at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The target of the protest? “[F]ederal school nutrition guidelines that allegedly forced at least one student to forgo her mother’s home-packed lunch in favor of chicken nuggets,” a press release announcing today’s event read.

The alleged lunch incident happened in North Carolina. “A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious,” a local reporter wrote last week. “The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.”

The story quickly became national news, causing outrage from those who say the government is waging war on lunch.

“We just sat down and had a nice lunch,” protest organizer David Almasi says of today’s protest. “It was our way of thumbing our nose at the federal regulators.”

The location of today’s protest “lunch-in,” Freedom Plaza, is on land owned by the federal government, under the management of the National Park Service.

Seven people at today’s “lunch-in,” which consisted of turkey and cheese sandwiches, potato chips, apple juice boxes, and bananas. It is exactly the lunch that was reportedly taken away from the four-year-old schoolgirl in North Carolina.

“Even though my four-year-old and two-year-old will both be starting at public schools in a few months, I did not agree to let the government make every decision about how they are raised,” Jennifer Biddison said in advance of attending this afternoon’s “seditious lunch,” according to a press release. “Just because I choose to let government schools teach my kids math and reading doesn’t mean I want them to dictate other things such as how they will eat and how they will dress. I’m quite content with the way I am raising them, and I ask the government to honor my choices in such family matters.”

Today’s “protest is part of The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Occupy Occupy D.C.’ events at Freedom Plaza,” a press release announced. “The National Center obtained a five-week permit from the U.S. Park Service that forces the Occupy D.C. encampment to share the park between February 12 and March 15.”

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