Students across Petersburg today have learned what school officials are calling “a valuable life lesson” as budget cuts have forced the district to no longer provide free lunches.
“The free-lunch program has simply gotten too expensive for us to pay for everyone,” said school superintendent James Victory, “so we thought it would be best to roll this little issue into that tried-and-true adage for students. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and as they say, it’s here today, gone tomorrow.”
One of the poorest cities in Virginia, Petersburg will still offer lunches to students who qualify for financial assistance, though many local residents say they may not make that threshold. They worry they still won’t be able to afford a free lunch, which, as the saying goes, does in some way carry a pricetag.
“I can’t believe they would do something like this, I plan to write my senator and march up to that school board and give them a piece of my mind,” said Janiel Simms, whose three children are in the elementary and middle schools. “Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.”
Added Simms: “Because the best things in life are free.”
Responding to critics, Victory told reporters that beggars can’t be choosers, and there were simply too many children in the free-lunch program.
“Too many cooks spoils the broth,” he said. “There’s no reason to cry over spilt milk, or in this case, milk that is no longer given out free of charge.”
The short but meaningful sayings were one of several life lessons uncovered in Petersburg during the past few months. Last year, a handful of residents found out the hard way that where there is smoke, there is fire.
And farther north in Henrico County, a number of high school students in the Short Pump area have recently figured out that one should always hide the beer cans from the police.