(WMC-TV) - A new meal program for some students of Memphis City Schools was the subject of a recent rant by nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Students in dozens of Memphis City Schools are receiving an extra meal - dinner - during the district's after-hours enrichment programs. A recent story in the Commercial Appeal about the federally funded program caught Limbaugh's attention.
"The writer, this Jane Roberts, (writes as if) 'oh this is wonderful...this is the greatest invention ever: supper at school,'" Limbaugh said.
The article spotlighted an 11-year-old student at Shelby Oaks Elementary who expressed his gratitude for an additional meal at the end of the day.
"Why does this kid need supper at school?" Limbaugh asked.
Using Memphis as his whipping post, Limbaugh then criticized the federal government's Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was passed last year. The act adds dinner to lunch rooms across the country for the nation's poorest students.
"The sperm meets the egg, the kids are born, and off to school he goes," Limbaugh said. "You might see him on weekends, but you're not going to be expected to feed him."
Action News 5 contacted Memphis City Schools for a response to Limbaugh's statements, but a spokesperson said the district would not dignify the host's comments with a statement. But after the broadcast, parents like Richard Mitchell were quick to respond.
"That doesn't sound very sympathetic," he said. "I mean, my boy eats dinner at home, but some other people's might not."
Clearly, Limbaugh's criticism of a government program for the poor go beyond the Bluff City, but reading a story from the Commercial Appeal made Memphis easy pickings for his platform.
Action News 5 attempted to reach Limbaugh for comment, but Friday, the media telephone line for the E.I.B. Network was either busy or there was no answer.
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