District: No Money In Lunch Account, No 'Humanitarian Meal' - KMSP-TV

District: No Money In Lunch Account, No 'Humanitarian Meal'

Posted: Updated:
WILLINGBORO, N.J. -

As kids head back to school, parents are once again faced with the choice: do they let their children buy lunch or do they brown-bag it? But a new lunchtime policy in one local school district has some parents furious.

Most parents in Willingboro should have gotten a letter from the school district in the mail today. It talks about a new lunch program. The new lunch program states that if kids, not on the Free and Reduced Lunch program, don't have money to pay for their school lunch, they will go hungry for the day. This is the newest policy for the Willingboro, New Jersey school district.

"I don't think it's fair for the children to go all day without eating," says Rosa Berder, a mom. "That's like wasting food. If the kid already had the lunch, let the parent know instead of taking food from a kid."

Little Carlos Rios loves school lunches.

"Fish sticks, chicken nuggets," he says.

He can't imagine the day he doesn't get to eat it.

"What if they threw it out?" asks FOX 29's Leigh Scheps.

"I would be sad," Carlos replies.

"I am absolutely afraid that could happen to my kids," says another parent.

This mom didn't want us to show her face or reveal her name in fear of retaliation to her children. She tells FOX 29 that she always fills up her children's lunch account, but sometimes she isn't notified when it gets too low.

"I'm aggravated...a child would go hungry and suffer the social embarrassment of having food thrown in the trash because there's no money in the account," she says.

In a letter sent home to parents, the district says that if a student goes through the lunch line and doesn't have enough money to pay for it, the lunch staff is instructed to throw the meal away.

"Don't you think it's a waste of food to just throw it out?" Scheps asked.

"Well, we're hoping it doesn't happen," says Dr. Ronald Taylor, the Superintendent. "It's either all or nothing type of policy, when you have parents not taking advantage of the reduced lunch and taking away dollars for instruction we have to adopt a policy to enforce it."

Superintendent Ronald Taylor explains that the new policy is in place because parents abused the Free and Reduced Lunch program last year.

"Upwards of $50,0000 for students who had not applied for Free and Reduced Lunch who received free lunches," says Dr. Taylor. "Part of the reason we're doing this is to help hold parents accountable."

Taylor says that the district will warn parents when their account is down to five dollars, that's about three days before it's empty.

"We have guidance counselors and outreach personnel that would reach out well before this happened," says Dr. Taylor.

But this mom doesn't think it will solve anything.

"I am considering packing daily lunches," she says.

The superintendent wants parents to apply for the district's Free and Reduced Lunch Program. That way, children won't have their lunch tossed and go hungry. This policy is perfectly legal. It's up to the district's discretion.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Geno's Holds Fundraiser For Paralyzed Man

    Geno's Holds Fundraiser For Paralyzed Man

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-09-15 03:25:33 GMT
    A  man on the way to his job in 2012 was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The accident changed his life forever, but he says that he plans on overcoming the challenges that he now faces.
    A  man on the way to his job in 2012 was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The accident changed his life forever, but he says that he plans on overcoming the challenges that he now faces.
  • Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:32:24 GMT
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
  • Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:14:19 GMT

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices