"A $10 million donation may be a lot of money for a children’s hospital, and some good will likely result from the funds. But it’s a drop in the bucket for the soft drink industry, a small cost of doing business and a worthy investment," writes Simon. "Especially because the proposed beverage tax was projected to bring in $77 million in just one year, with $20 million specifically allocated to obesity prevention programs. And with no strings attached. Somehow I doubt we will see any research coming out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that could ruffle the feathers of the beverage lobby."
Finally, not all of the nation's 100,000 schools participate in the federally-subsidized lunch program. Some schools in affluent areas opt out because they've learned they can actually make money by charging parents more for designer meals.
In the Piedmont area near San Francisco, for instance, a company called Choicelunch caters to the upscale preferences of wealthy parents with entrees costing $6 or even sushi for $6.25.
"They have worked with us on locally sourced foods and they address all our parents' need regarding food allergies," Heather Meil, the parent volunteer coordinator at Havens Elementary, told The Bay Citizen. "They just rolled out gluten-free chicken nuggets. Our children are very sophisticated eaters. Their top choices are sushi and pot stickers."
For every Choicelunch sold, the school's Parents Club receives $1.80. Meil said the parents are using the money to boost the math and science program and help pay for a technology coordinator.
We can't say it enough: It's great to be rich in America.
For every Choicelunch sold, the school’s Parent Club receives $1.80. “It is seen as a fund raiser,” Meil said of the lunch program. “We serve 90 to 120 lunches a day, so over the school year we bring in 30 to 40 thousand dollars.”
She said the Parent Club was using the extra money this year for math and science resources and enrichments and a technology coordinator, among other things.