slowly dawning horror … recession

In the north-eastof  Italy, one of the richest areas of the country, not so long ago, children in a nursery school were fed bread and water for lunch, because their parents couldn’t afford to pay lunch fees.  This wasn’t a private nursery, but a State owned nursery, schooling being a service guaranteed to all citizens.

It’s important though that we understand that, over the years, private companies have taken over the catering services (as well as most other services) in the running of State activities including hospitals.  Where once, the schools had their own cooks this has been considered uneconomical.  It’s also virtually impossible now days for children to bring their own lunches, something not so long ago was pretty normal.  The system used to award companies contracts is based on the lowest bid.  Sometimes the service isn’t very good.

The teacher’s who inforced the rule, refusing to serve lunch to the children, were of course without any sort of stigma, they were only following the rules.  In another nursery school, not long afterwards, the teachers refused to follow the rule, and gave their own lunch tickets to those children whose parents couldn’t pay.  Someone went to the police and filed a complaint accusing the teachers of misappropriation of funds.

In both towns, the population had mixed feelings about what had happened.  The majority however felt that it was only right that the parents should have paid the lunch fees and if they didn’t the children should not have been fed.

Have you ever come across something like this?  Has the recession brought your way some similar horror stories?  Do you indeed consider this a horror story, or just normal every day life?