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School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program


reviewed by Sanford Schram - October 23, 2008

coverTitle: School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program
Author(s): Susan Levine
Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton
ISBN: 0691050880, Pages: 272, Year: 2008
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Welfare is once again the dirty word it often has been in recent years. For a while it was off the political agenda after reform legislation was passed in 1996 that imposed time limits and work requirements on recipients of the main cash assistance program for low-income families. Yet, at the height of the 2008 presidential campaign the candidates traded jabs over whose platform had more welfare in it, whether it was for low-income workers in the case of Barack Obama or corporations in the case of John McCain. The National School Lunch program is a welfare initiative that often avoided the stigmatization that came with that appellation. In this sense it is a bit like Social Security for retirees. Social Security has avoided being called welfare even though it has a strong redistributive dimension to it with low-income earners receiving more in benefits per dollar earned than high-income earners.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 23, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15425, Date Accessed: 9/19/2020 12:19:26 PM

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About the Author
  • Sanford Schram
    Bryn Mawr College
    E-mail Author
    SANFORD SCHRAM teaches social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. He is the author or co-author of eight books. He is currently writing a book with Joe Soss and Richard Fording entitled Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race to be published by the University of Chicago Press.
 
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