April 5th, 2013
02:12 AM ET

No meal for kids in debt at middle school

Sorry, kid. No money, no lunch.

Students at an Attleboro, Massachusetts, middle school went hungry this week, if they had a negative balance on their pre-paid lunch cards.

Five cents of debt was enough for cafeteria employees at the Coehlo Middle School in instruct kids at least one day this week to dump out the food they would have normally eaten, CNN affiliate WJAR, Rhode Island, reported.


Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Having kids dump the lunch they would have otherwise eaten is wrong & a wrong precedent no matter what the program.
    When millions around the world go hungry food has to be shown some respect.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      The problem here is that the food cannot be put back into the steam tables, nor can it be given to homeless shelters. The solution may lie in having the debit cards checked before the students enter the line.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humanitarian

      Place it gently in dumpsters where the homeless know it will be deposited and they can recover it. Then, take the debit cards away from those children who are not body mass index compliant (Obese, in other words). Make those porkers exercise at recess until they shed their unhealthy pounds. Problem solved. Next.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      What an absurd notion, Humanitarian. Your name belies your post. If there was an IQ index quotient for posters, you would most assuredly fail. PS, Attleboro is fairly affluent. Plus, these are items from a plate of food. They are not large pans of food. Logic fail.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat


    April 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Ty @ Susan1981 for that info! That same system is in place where i live too. It is NOT the parents, nor the teachers fault. And most definitely not the childs fault. And even if it were, shame on ANYONE who would allow a child to go without food just to set an example! I mean nickle even? Sheesh!

    April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Unsure what is happening in MA, but when a student here is low on funds in their account, a PBJ sandwich is given.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Oh heck what was i thinking. Its Massachusettes, must be Romneyeconomics! Anyway, my point is this, if they dont send parents some type of notification when their childs meal card is close to a deficit level then how would they know? And for those who say its like a debit card well....you get printouts on your debit card so you know what your balance is. Doesnt happen that way with the prepaid lunch cards.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I don't know if MA does or not, but our school system sends both physical paper notes and emails to the parents.
      This system is in place around the country. Unsure why this is getting such press now.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dazzle ©

    I have read this article 3 times and once again it sounds like pass the buck. I don't understand how some commenters comprehend that this means federally funded food. Parents in most school districts are made aware well in advance of when it is time to load the card. Someone screwed up.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Yes, @dazzle. I explained it as similar to a debit card so people would grasp the concept. IE: there has to be monet in the account to be utilized.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    @banasy you are correct and this is the first I heard of kids not being permitted to eat. There is always PB and J everywhere.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      As I said, unsure what is going on in MA. At my school a daily $ limit can be set, and if my kid went over it, she paid the dif out of her own $

      April 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 1608®

    Just so you don't misunderstand, it's not the school or district.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Then who is it?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1608

      And the answer is >>> Whitson's Food Service. <<< By the way, I agree with your 12:55 post.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ronvan

    Hard for me to understand this one. Punish the kids because of a system or parent failure? And now that so many "do gooder" groups, including our government has gotten into what you can & cannot eat, healthy vs bad, it wouldn't surprise me that jail house food is better! Are PBJ's healthy & allowed? Both my kids, now in college, tell me that even the food there stinks and will go somewhere else to eat!?

    April 6, 2013 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. southboca

    Making a middleschooler go without lunch seems a bit harsh. That aside, this policy is incredibly wasteful. Doesn't seem like it would be too hard to either charge before the food hits the plates (assuming the school charges a flat rate for lunches) OR check each kid's balance before the food hits the plate. At least that way, perfectly good food would not be thrown away.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
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