Who is the Originator of the Free Lunch Program? It turns out to be this person

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The free lunch program will be implemented in Indonesia if Presidential Candidate Prabowo Subianto serves as president. However, not many people know who the originator of the free lunch program is.

Apparently, the free lunch program was first initiated by Joseph Chesterfield Mackin. He is the owner of an alcoholic bar or club in the United States. In 1871, Mackin came up with the idea not because of excess money or philanthropy, but as an attempt to sell liquor, the mainstay of his bar.

In essence, Mackin wanted people to buy liquor in exchange for a free lunch. He believes that this method can make his business profitable because previously it always made losses.

As explained The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920 (1983), Mackin attempted to give a free lunch, namely hot oysters, to every visitor who bought one liquor. Sometimes, it's not just oysters, but also pieces of meat, boiled eggs and cheese.

Unexpectedly, this method then increased liquor sales so that Mackin could make a profit. This step was then adopted by many other bars.

Circa 1870s, citing archives New York Times, many bars began to provide free lunches to visitors. So to be able to sample the free lunch, visitors must buy liquor first.

Interestingly, this liquor is not just for quenching thirst. But also as an antidote to the unpleasant taste of food.

In Drinking in America: A History (1982) explained that bar owners usually deliberately serve the free food with less salt. The aim is for visitors to make up for the shortage by buying more liquor.

Of course, all this adds to the coffers of bar owners. And, in the same way, people can be full.

However, on the other hand, the free lunch strategy has caused polemics. In 1874, a group said that this program was the same as opening the door to death. This is because people consume alcohol more often, which is dangerous for their health.

Apart from that, this program has also caused the number of unemployed and homeless in many cities to increase. As a result, at the end of the 19th century, many cities began to ban free lunch programs in bars.

Despite the ban on bars, the free lunch program is trying to be adopted in schools. From there until now, the program continues to be carried out in the US.

Quote Time, Philadelphia and Boston became the first two cities in the US to implement free school lunches since the end of the 19th century. The initiators were NGOs, the Women's Educational and Industrial Union and the Starr Center Association.

Since its implementation, free lunch has had a positive impact. Time said this program has not only been proven to have an impact on children's growth, but has also been successful in teaching children healthy and wise eating habits.

On this basis, as compulsory education began to be implemented, the free lunch program expanded after the US government took full operational control. Moreover, after it was further ratified in the National School Lunch Act 1946.

Through this regulation, the free lunch program continues to this day. And, it is an inspiration for other countries to do the same.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]