Bauer's proposal comes down to taking children's meals away if they or their parents don't measure up.
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."
Bauer, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, made his remarks during a town hall meeting in Fountain Inn that included state lawmakers and about 115 residents.
"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said.
In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.
Bauer's remarks came during a speech in which he said government should take away assistance if those receiving help didn't pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings if their children were receiving free and reduced-price lunches.
Teachers will tell you that for some needy children, school breakfasts and lunches are the only meals that they can depend on.
The USDA reports that as the country entered the recession, household food insecurity, that is, the lack of "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members," was at its highest point since the government began measuring this in 1995. Among households with children, more than one in five were food insecure at the end of 2008.
Food insecurity in South Carolina over the three years preceding the report (2006-8) was nearly a full percentage point higher than the national average.
The voters of South Carolina should send Lt. Gov. Bauer to his room without supper, not its poor children.