Remember the days when parents, rather than the government, were responsible for packing lunch for their kids? I don?t, but that?s because I?m a member of Generation Y, and the only federal government I?ve known is the nanny state one. But I?ve heard tell that in days of yore, parents were parents.

That truth came to mind again when I read this article in The Washington Post, which discusses five myths surrounding federally subsidized nutrition programs in public schools. One of those myths, according to WaPo: ?Most students who don?t participate in the National School Lunch Program eat a healthy lunch brought from home?:

Even if eligibility for free lunch is problematic, students can always brown-bag it, right? That’s not what I’ve seen in school cafeterias across the country.

In the USDA’s most recent comprehensive study of school food, 62 percent of students chose the school lunch and about 10 percent of the students brought lunch from home on the day being surveyed.

What happened to everyone else? Some did not eat lunch (4 percent of elementary students and 8 percent of high school students). Others bought food from a la carte options in the cafeteria, left the campus to purchase food, or bought from vending machines or school stores.

That means one-in-ten parents packed a lunch for their kids ? and maybe less if the kids packed the lunch for themselves.

I?m not arguing this is conclusive evidence of parental neglect. But it does raise some ominous questions about the direction our culture is taking, particularly given the fact that advocacy groups are pushing for universal school lunch for all kids, regardless of family income. The state continues to replace mother and father as nurturer and breadwinner.