This has to be one of the most cold hearted act perpetrated on the you of Utah.
This needs to be dealt with swiftly and justly for the children.
Tax paid lunches being thrown away?Someone else should pay the bill.
Budgets are an issue here, but so are the reasons the balance is not being paid.
That's the real story and the solution that needs to be investigated. There
are so many reasons that could be happening starting from slack parents to
poverty. My question is why school systems aren't referring these students
to a counselor when this happens? You wouldn't talk about any other
discipline or personal issues in front of their peers - so why is this ok? You need a trained professional not a lunch lady to handle the wide
variety of issues that could be the reason for the delinquency. Parents would
step up if they felt like they were going to get in trouble but they aren't
with this system - only the kids. And if there's a financial need, parents
can be helped to navigate available support systems or agencies.
In my day (admittedly a long, long time ago) we didn't have school lunch
until we got to junior high. We actually went home for lunch, since our moms
were usually home. If on the rare occasion we had to eat lunch at school, we
packed a lunch and the teacher had to sit in the classroom where we ate our
lunch. Life was so much simpler then. If you don't like the system, pack
your kid a lunch. It's not that hard and you will probably have better
luck with him eating it.
To take food from children and throw it away should be a major criime. I am
ashamed of those adults(?) who did that. Shame on them. No, I don't live in
Utah but I do have, at the present time, 5 greatgrandchldren who do live there.
If this happened in MS parents of those children who were embarrassed would be
at that school in a heartbeat and woe to those who participated. Milk and fruit
is not a meal so children went hungry. Saying 'sorry' is not enough.
This frightens me and makes me cry.
When I was a student we paid for our lunches a week in advance. What is wrong
with this concept?
Re Strider303If families were all responsible for their own
children, there would be no public schools.
We provide free education, perhaps its time to consider free lunches so poor
parents aren't stressed out and this kind of thing doesn't keep
Traditionally parents were responsible for their children, that included food at
school. You could pack/brown bag or buy the lunch. Yes I realize the
"traditional family" is now a minority and a memory but it did work to
provide for the children without much interference from the Federal
Government.So what do we do now? Let the Federal Bureaucracy lull
us into carnal "security" by providing everything they tell us we
need/want? A possible solution would be to not accept the Federal dollars,
thereby relinquishing Federal control. Let the district devise their own lunch
system and if you don't like it, pack your own. The district could
simplify the menu, dump the flash frozen, warmed up high carbohydrate artery
clogging fare for sandwiches and fruit and milk/juice. It's a lunch
folks.Tattered and mangled families and their offspring do need
help, so do ignorant parents (ignorant meaning uneducated as to their role) but
we have a social service system to help them, or at least I am told that is what
Social Services are for.What we see here is the Law of Unintended
Consequences in action, "No good deed goes unpunished."
Firstly, hot lunches: Meals are not cooked at the school, as they were in my
day-years and years ago; Meals are "warmed" at the school. Secondly,
this problem would go away, if the meal were paid for prior to serving; schools
have the information on who is paid up; meals could be paid on daily or whatever
basis; but paid prior to service. Reduced meals-fruit and milk are available to
those unable to pay. Paying prior to being served used to be the policy. It
needs to be re-instituted. Throwing away food! Bad enough when the kids do it.
Unfortunately, this seems to be an American tradition. I have seen it too often.
The school district made a big mistake. The mistake was not to deny but on how
it was handled. It has been documented that no letters of warning were sent out.
The school district is a business. However as someone who has worked in many
school districts, I sense the problem. Certain groups of children receive free
lunch through government assistance. Other groups cannot receive the same aid
based on ethnicity. This is causing friction and frustration. Because of this,
there are militant groups building up who are based in the Northwest. These
groups have legitimate gripes based on governmental policies. However, violence
is troubling and threats are a type of violence. Police officers are a visible
symbol of government. They are being shot at an alarming rate by elements of the
drug culture which now passes through all ethnic realms of society. There are no
jobs and men are turning to selling drugs to support wives and families.
You know, the kids probably would get over this in no time flat is their parents
would simply quit inflating it beyond all proportion. The school made a foolish
mistake. They are trying to fix it. Everybody stop having a cow. I find it very
ironic that a story about how students shouldn't be publicly shamed results
in school personnel begin publicly shamed.
The Federal Government has always been involved in the school lunch programs
across the nation and, the more the Federal Government regulates and governs our
schools on every level, the more rules and regulations we encounter from
Washington. Too bad it's too late for our State governments to take back
what should be theirs--the education of our kids in neighborhood schools. We
should be holding government and parents responsible in this situation...The
Federal Government for their control and mindless rules and the parents for
keeping track of their children's lunch money while becoming involved in
the schools where their children attend.
Yes, GaryO we can see where you are trying to take us with your logical fallacy.
Here is an argument for a mandated lunch program. Feed the children so they
will have healthy brains and learn to reject such muddled thinking while at the
same time rejecting their status as helpless victims of an uncaring system.
This is a perfect example of why you don't want the Fed. Government
involved. The whole education system needs to be turned back over to the
states; including the lunch program. The way it is now, the children don't
get enough to eat by what is served them in the cafeteria anyway. And yet they
continue to charge them $2 for their inadequate lunch.Parents, get
on the ball and pay for your kid's lunch! Why aren't you doing it?
If you are a working parent, I'm sure you're eating lunch somewhere.
If you're not a working parent, then get up and make your child's
lunch. Be the grown up here....
The action of depriving people of food because they have no money sounds like a
mindset created by conservatives.
Seems to me this could have all been avoided if the district hadn't changed
the way payment for lunches is done. In the past, kids brought $ to school
weekly to pay for their lunches. If families can't afford to pay the $2.00
for lunches there is a free and reduced lunch plan they can sign up for. Schools
then don't have to deal with students building up credit deficits because
parents don't send money for their kid's lunches.The
bottom line is parents are lax or forgetful in tracking the amount a student has
in his lunch fund. Although from my experience, notices are sent/mailed home
when the lunch fund no longer has any money in it.It's not
right for elementary students to be embarrassed by having their lunches dumped.
It's not their fault their lunches haven't been paid for. Parents
should be more responsible.
I worked in an elementary school in another state. The kindergarten kids that
stayed a whole day, had to take a school lunch. I had to make sure they took the
lunch and milk. I don't know why the government says they have to take a
pathetic lunch of greasy cold food that's supposed to be hot. guess how
many of those went straight into the garbage on the way to their tables. The
government can't make them eat it, they can make them take it. Every kid in
my class but maybe 5 threw them away. What a waste of money. One mom came in to
get her son for an apt. and she said how awful his lunch looked and I told her
he never eats it, so she said she would start packing. I bet if the parents saw
and tasted and felt how cold the hot lunches are they would all pack their kids
Not every parent has email or internet access. I got a warning about a negative
balance and I send my kid lunch. It is suggested that every parent out $10 in
the account anyway and where there is $5 you get an email. I have no idea how my
son could have taken anything out. We don't even have a lunch code set up.
Which brings us to basic human error. Obviously I paid for someone's stuff.
A number of parents claim they were never notified of a deficit. Mistakes are
made. Garbage in garbage out.
The food is getting tossed because if the workers don't take the lunch the
government auditors will take their jobs. It is unfortunately not the lunch
workers fault. It is a result of the mandates from the federal government.
Reduce the level control the government had on this. The poor lunch workers are
doing a job of policing that wouldn't be in their job description if Big
Brother didn't demand it. The policy needs to be looked at and changed
rather quickly. With that said I also feel that it isn't all the
governments fault. If our kids have a negative balance then we need to do
something about that. Blame so often is only thrown out one way. Let's do
what we can to help both side improve instead of blaming everything on just one
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
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
@JoeMamma"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.
"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.
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
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.
@JoemammaIf 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?
Parents need to be responsible and provide lunches themselves. Governments need
to get out of providing lunches. End of story.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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?
Why is the federal government involved at all? Having the cashier police the
tray for the correct choices of food. Insane.
“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.
Nothing as brilliant as one bone-headed behavior leading to an even more