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Should School Give Kid Lunch If Account is Delinquent? [POLL]

Scott Olson, Getty Images
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Last month we talked about one school in Smithville that threw away the lunch of a 10 year old due to the lack of funds in the kid’s lunch account.

The question was whether or not this practice of throwing away a perfectly good lunch and giving a child a humanitarian lunch was somehow “cruel!” The parent in the Smithville case somehow didn’t realize that there was no money in the account thereby necessitating the child’s lunch to be tossed in the garbage.

To prevent that from happening, an Assembly panel is suggesting that parents be given a grace period of 10 days for their child’s lunch account to be brought up to date.
If by that time the account isn’t rectified, they’d be given another 7 days to make the account whole.

In other words, give the child 17 days of “free” lunches – after which, should the account not be brought up to date, lunches can then be disposed of.

According to this story:

Schools would not immediately be able to deny students lunch because their parents haven’t paid the tab under a bill scheduled for a hearing by a state Assembly panel Monday.

The bill (A1796) is a response to a Willingboro school district policy announced in September instructing staff to throw kids’ meals away if their lunch accounts have gone delinquent.

“This is just outrageous,” bill sponsor Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union) said in a September press release. “With poverty on the rise and families struggling to make ends meet, this is cruel and unreasonable.”

Cryan’s legislation would require schools to contact the students’ parents or guardians if the students’ lunch account isn’t paid and give them 10 days to pay it.

The school would then have to issue a second warning to the parents, and then give them another 7 days to pay before they could deny the child lunch.

”The idea that a child can load up a tray with lunch, but then have the meal thrown away is incomprehensible. This sounds like something from the Dark Ages.”

He’s right in a way. It sounds like something out of “Oliver Twist!” However, he doesn’t say what happens after 2 notices are sent to the home and nothing happens.
It would still be seemingly cruel to toss a child’s lunch in the pail once the child has filled his or her tray. To me, you’re just forestalling the inevitable.

If a child’s lunch account is deficient, should the school continue to feed the child on the district’s dime?

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