Thursday, July 23, 2015

Free Lunch in Irvine

Hat tip David

Irvine, California is touted year in and year out as the safest city in America. That's because it is one of the most affluent cities in America. I work in Irvine (UC-Irvine) , so I know.  As much as I have driven around the city, I have yet to see my first slum. That's because there are none. Of course, we have ex-mayor Larry Agram's Great Park, which might qualify. Actually, it's the world's biggest gopher patch. After years and billions of dollars that have gone God knows where, that's all Irvine has to show for it except for an orange hot-air balloon and a carousel (no ding-dong bell).

But I digress.

Having said all that, I was somewhat stunned to see this missive from the good folks in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) advertising free lunches for their "poorer residents".

Dear Parents/Guardians:
The IUSD Nutrition Services Department is pleased to announce that our application for Free or Reduced-Price Meals is now available online for the 2015-16 school year. To ensure that your child receives the benefits for which your family may qualify, please submit a Free/Reduced-Price Meal Application for this school year as soon as possible.  Parents who are certain that their students do not qualify are not required to submit an application.
New applications can be found online at If you prefer to submit a paper application, these will be available throughout the summer at the District Office and at the Nutrition Services Office, located on the campus of Rancho San Joaquin Middle School at 4861 Michelson Drive, Irvine.  Paper applications will also be available at your student’s school office at the beginning of the school year.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office at
Best regards,
The Nutrition Services Staff

I guess if you live in a house valued under $500,000 or drive a car older than 2013, you qualify.

Anyway, I thought I would check into this some more, so I sent an email to the address listed above.

My name is Gary Fouse, and while I don't live in Irvine, I teach there part-time 
at UC Irvine-Ext. After reading your e-mail alert about free lunches, I thought 
I would contact you to see if I or my children qualify. I am retired from the 
government and have a nice pension plus retirement benefits and what I make at 
UCI. ( I teach 2 hours a day and get paid $66.60 an hour.) I live in a nice 
house near Irvine, and my wife and I both drive very nice cars. (Sometimes I 
worry about driving my car in the mean streets of the poorer neighborhoods of 
Irvine, but so far, I have been lucky.)  In other words, we are pretty typical 
for the greater Irvine area. We have two children, both in their 30s, and they 
are both gainfully employed. 
So I was wondering if I or my kids qualify. I mean, every time our son comes 
over to the house he complains about being hungry. 
If I do qualify, please let me know which school is most convenient for me. 
After teaching two hours at UC Irvine, I am ready for a nice, free lunch. 
Thank You, 
Gary Fouse 
PS: Do you serve beer? 

I will let you know when I receive their answer.


Squid said...


I am sorry to say that when I checked with Michelle Obama she reported that beer is not part of the White House regulations for school lunches.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

They won't answer Gary, for the same reason Ann Landers didn't answer a letter I sent her many years ago...