Dozens of US race and food activist groups have reportedly signed on to a letter accusing the federal government of “dietary racism” in its program for free or subsidized school lunches, saying the USDA is forcing millions of non-white, lactose-intolerant children to drink cow’s milk.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is “inherently inequitable and socially unjust,” the groups said in a letter to the USDA’s Equity Commission. The letter, which was first reported by The Hill on Tuesday, added that “black, Native American, Asian and Latino kids are being punished for their race and heritage.”
The NSLP provides free or discounted lunches to about 30 million children at 100,000 schools across the US. Although nearly half of the children who qualify for such assistance are white, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the activist groups said non-white children are disproportionately reliant on subsidized meals. They argued, too, that non-white children have far higher rates of lactose intolerance.