Comments about ‘School lunches being thrown away leads to threats, officials say’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 3 2014 6:25 p.m. MST

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conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

Nothing as brilliant as one bone-headed behavior leading to an even more bone-headed behavior.

Layton, UT

“It’s $2,” she said. “Nobody wants to be humiliated over $2.”

Well then Ms. Meidell PAY your son's lunch account!

You don't go to McDonalds and expect to eat without PAYING for it.

Grand Rapids, MI

Why is the federal government involved at all? Having the cashier police the tray for the correct choices of food. Insane.

Mchenry, IL

They are required to eat at school. Why doesn't the school pay for it? $42,000 is benefits for one teacher. Why provide a free sandwich and milk to the ones with no money and chicken strips and fruit to someone with $2. It's ridiculous. And they really don't eat the cost. How much do they and have they sold over the years in vending machines, ice cream or cookies on Fridays and other stunts. What is next toilet paper from home under the notion if you want you kid to use the bathroom at school you need to pay for it?

Mchenry, IL

I have an idea, have one less staff member in every cafeteria. The cashier. I wonder the time to buy the system of payment and staff spending time tracking payments down is way more than $42,000? Ask for the fee at the start of the year. Or by quarter. Or chuck the fee. It is a tiny percentage of the budget. I would move the alternate lunch provided by the school doesn't meet the new rules and ought not get any federal reimbursement for violating the standards. In prison do some prisoners get a roll and milk and others get a hot meal with fresh fruit?


As usual Ben Horsely glosses over the details and paints a pretty picture. Well guess what, when people bully kids others get mad. And that is just what the district is doing, is taking food from kids who did nothing wrong. The parents can be billed and sued or what not, but to bully the kids is taking it too far.

As If!
Layton, UT

Although I've never seen a child denied a lunch, I have seen those that had their lunch on their plate reduced. It consisted of what the government paid. As a teacher, I can tell you that we send home notes, call parents, leave messages, and do all we can to get the message to the parents. You have no idea how many times I've looked inside a backpack over the years and seen all the notes that they never gave their parents or the parents who never took time to look for information from school. The head of the kitchen can get into a lot of trouble if she lets a child slide by for too long. Everything must be accounted for and an audit is done quite often. I feel badly for the Head Kitchen worker. I have never seen a lunch thrown out, except by the children because they don't like it. Parents and their children need to be responsible.

Burley, ID

Trillions to spend on overseas wars and the U.S. can't find enough in the budget to see that every child who needs help gets a decent lunch? Something is wrong with our priorities.

W Jordan, UT

The federal government wanting to create another entitlement program in Utah.
The school lunch system in Utah has functioned this way for decades and no one complained.
I raised my kids in Utah is called "holding people accountable"
The entitlement mentality is growing and soon they will demmand free lunches for everyone.
Once lunches are free the government will regulate exactly what they can eat.
As log as you pay for your kids meals the government has no saying and what they can eat.
Wake up everyone!!

Newark, DE

Working in school food services I can tell you kids are notified. We send letters, emails, and tell children when they are low on funds. We allow kids to charge a weeks worth of meals. I see parents who only pay enough to get their kids a meal, all the while maintaining a negative balance. Food Services are a self sustaining operation. We get our funds from the sales of meals and snacks. We are not suppose to make or lose money but break even. Parent need to take responsibility for their kids. Check their book bags and ask them questions.

Sorry to say it is the children that suffer. I wish we could give every child a free meal. There are meals programs for children to get government subsidized meals, yet parents do not fill out the forms. We advertize these programs on school web sites, in local media and even local food markets.

When are people going to start taking responsibility for there actions or in this case in-actions.

Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

So the cashier checks to make sure that the proper nutrition is on the tray at checkout. So they must have it to clear the first hurdle, they must also have enough money to clear the second hurdle. So theoretically, the lunches that were thrown away actually had food that the kids didn't want or plan to eat anyway. Crazy.

I know it is important for the kids to get a nutritious lunch but every parent knows just because it is on the plate doesn't mean it went in the belly. Another place were Big Brother and Big Government are not really providing help and they need to step back and let local schools manage for their students.

Sandy, UT

Why not just do away with school lunch? I brown bagged it through school because it was less expensive than school lunch. Now everyone want the government to pay for them. I do not agree with throwing the lunches away, but it there is no money, no food. Lets ask the parents to act like adults and makr sure their kids have lunch money or a lunch from home.

Westbank, BC

Parents need to be responsible and provide lunches themselves. Governments need to get out of providing lunches. End of story.


If say, you owe me money and rather than speak to you about it, or send you a bill, or one of any number of accepted tactics of billing an adult, I went and harassed your child about your bill. How would you feel?
I daresay you would be really mad in the least. At what point do bill collectors harass your children.
And at what point is food that a child is currently eating better in the garbage than in the child's mouth?

St Louis, MO

I don't think there's any way to argue two things: (1) it's the parents' responsibility to make sure the kids have money in their account, and (2) dealing with it in the way this school did was unfathomably dumb. If we're laying blame in this particular instance, though, the school official has to take the hit.

Look, I have four kids in public school. They buy 1-2 days a week and I make them lunch the other days. We fund accounts at the start of each year, but don't make a point of checking religiously. Occasionally, an account will run into a deficit. When we notice, we dump more money in. It's not that hard. If I let it remain at a negative balance, I would expect both us and my kids to be told, but not by giving them a lunch and then taking it away.

The dumbest thing about this is that no-one can claim they were taking these lunches as a money-saving measure, since they tossed the food in the trash. If savings wasn't the motivation, the only other way to look at it is that it was punishment. Bad idea.

Springville, UT

If they are going to toss the food, why not let the kid eat and then take him/her aside and deal with it instead of carrying out a public humiliation? But this does not in any way excuse some meathead from making threats. Good grief!

rural girl
Orangeville, UT

"Why is the federal government involved?" Because it is a federal government program! There are rules that need to be followed. We might not like it, but it is what it is.

Pleasant Grove, UT

"As log as you pay for your kids meals the government has no saying [sic] and [sic] what they can eat."

As long as the child eats in the school cafeteria, the government does have a say in what they eat. It's not a restaurant with an unlimited menu of choices. It's a cafeteria, and the "government" decides what is going to be served. Okay, it's the school district that decides, but they're still a governmental agency. Whether you pay for it or it's part of a subsidized lunch program, it's still the school that makes the decision as to what your kids have to eat that day. If you don't approve, you do have the option to buy a lunch box or a package of lunch bags and prepare a lunch for your children every day. However, unless kids have changed since I was in school, most of them aren't going to be thrilled about getting a sandwich while their friends are enjoying a hot meal.

Orem, UT

I don't know why this is so difficult for the schools around here. We just moved from Connecticut. We received an email when our daughter's account went negative. We were able to go to a website and add to her account online. We were never uninformed about what the balance was. Using letters is very outdated.

Virginia Beach, VA

netjes, the Federal Government is involved because the School Lunch Act is a highly successful Progressive Federal Program signed into law by Democratic President Harry S Truman in 1946 to address the problem of poor nutrition in children, which affected masses of potential enlistees in WWII. Although these young men volunteered to go to war, they were rejected because they had been rendered unfit by the near-starvation they experienced as children during the Great Depression. The Federal School Lunch Program was touted by Progressives as necessary to national security back then, but it was still opposed by millions of Conservatives who thought government involvement in feeding children was unconstitutional.

And guess what . . . Utah is a heavily Conservative state, with the Tea Party in control of the Republican Party.

Now we have Utahns physically interceding between children and this progressive Federal program.

You can draw your own conclusions as to why.

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