Parents Outraged After Kids’ Lunches Are Thrown Away

    January 31, 2014
    Erika Watts
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Parents of students attending Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah were furious to learn that their kids’ lunches were taken by cafeteria workers. Up to 40 students had their lunch trays taken from them because they had balances on their student accounts that hadn’t been paid. Instead of eating a hot lunch, the children were given a piece of fruit and a carton of milk. The food on the lunch trays was thrown away since rules prohibit food from being served twice.

Jason Olsen, the Salt Lake City School District spokesman, confirmed that the school did indeed take lunches from students. “They did take that tray away and gave them fruit and a milk,” Olsen said. “We don’t ever let kids go without any food entirely.”

“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her lunch taken. According to Lukes, she didn’t realize her daughter had an outstanding balance on her student account. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up. You would think in a public school system your child wouldn’t be turned away from lunch, especially when people usually settle their balances.”

The Salt Lake City School District released a statement on their Facebook page and apologized for the situation and says they are working on how they notify parents of outstanding balances. Check out the full statement below.

According to an article Dave Arnold wrote for the National Education Association, schools are within their legal rights to deny students lunch if they have unpaid balances. While some districts will let kids charge lunches and settle at the end of the year, others deny lunches after students get a week behind.

“I would let them get behind for no more than a week,” Terri Prough, a Louisiana school employee, said. “Then I would refuse to feed them. I have worked in elementary, junior high, and high schools and it is always the same old story. The parents do not pay lunch bills, yet they give their children money for the concession stands that we open the last 10 minutes of every lunch period. These kids come to school with $5, $10, $20 for concessions. If they have money for that, they can surely pay for their lunch. Our lunch costs $1.10. Snacks cost $1.00.”

Arnold also notes that the parents could face charges in some areas if they don’t pay for lunches for their children. “When a parent knowingly allows their child to go without food for a certain period of time (the time limit differs from state to state) then it could be interpreted as child neglect,” Arnold said.

Image via YouTube

  • America the Beautiful

    This is America for you. You lock up the most people in the world. You detain the most people in the world. You bomb the most people in the world. You fight the most wars in the world.

    Now you are taking away food from kids and then literally, throwing the food away right in front of them.

    My, how a great nation has fallen. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

  • @America the Beautiful

    I am so disgusted in my nation. The world knows we did 9/11 to ourselves to go to war. We do all the things you said above and more. Now we are literally taking food from the mouths of children and throwing it away.

    There are those morons out there that believe America is so great. My country right or wrong!! They are brainwashed. Utterly brianwashed and they do not see what their country has become.

    No. There is only right or wrong. God doesn't give a damn about what country you belong to. I promise you this.

    • @ @America the Beautiful

      Yep, you are right too. I travel the world. Believe me, American media does not cover what the rest of the world says about them. You should see all the major conferences going on throughout the world about how 9/11 was done by America. These are literally academic conferences. Not "conspiracy theorists" and not "crazy people". These are some of the smartest and most connected people in the world and they are all saying that 9/11 is nothing but a lie. You will see things you can't imagine. Stuff, Anderson Cooper, the heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and a former member of the CIA will never tell you. All he wants to do is sit in front of Green Screen and claim he was a Sandy Hook. Maybe that or throw his brother out of a window so he can claim the Vanderbilt fortune.

  • Michella

    Parents need to understand that you wouldn't take your child to McDonalds and ask them to give you a free meal–nor would they just hand it over and hope that at some point the parent will come in a pay for it.
    For the families that don't qualify for free breakfast or lunch–the price for your student's meal is a bill. Just like lights and water, you have to pay. I don't buy the excuse–I was going to pay and don't punish the kid for my mistake. Your the parent and shouldn't be making mistakes like forgetting something that is as important to you as your child's meal.
    The problem is that parents think that schools owe them more than a good/great education. That isn't true–stop with the handout mentality and don't foster that mentality to your children.
    Hard times happen to all and the free and reduced program allows for free and reduced meals–if you can't afford the full price, stop wasting time and apply.