Warwick School Committee approves policy ending 'lunch shaming'
South Dakota lawmakers table lunch shaming bill
PIERRE – A South Dakota panel on Tuesday tabled a proposal to bar public and private schools from throwing away lunches if a student doesn’t have the money in their account to pay for them. The Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 vote deferred Senate bill 162 to the 41st legislative day, effectively shelving the proposal. The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said lawmakers had a responsibility to ensure students aren’t subjected to “Lunch shaming” in schools. His bill would have prohibited schools from requiring students to wear a stamp or wristband if they don’t have lunch money or from doing chores to pay off lunch debt. Under the proposal, any student who requested a school lunch would be able to get one, no matter how much money they had in their lunch account. More:Harrisburg father irked by ‘lunch shaming’ at middle school. School association, health and education groups stood to support the bill. School nutritionists from Brandon, Brookings and Yankton opposed it, insisting schools already work to prevent embarrassing situations. They also said the proposal could lead to debt for school districts, as parents wouldn’t feel a responsibility to pay for lunches if they knew they’d be offered for free. “We do not believe in shaming children, that is the last thing we want to do,” said Gay Anderson, Brandon Valley School District director of child nutrition. Erson and others recommended that districts set best practices for notifying parents that they need to send lunch money in a way that doesn’t single out students. Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, said the bill kicked off the start of an important conversation and urged school officials to consider options that “Don’t put the child in the middle.”
Ohio school district ends lunch shaming
CLEVELAND, OH – One school worker in Ohio was shaken when she saw kids given cheese sandwiches instead of a hot lunch because they couldn’t afford lunch. Jan Williams started in food service as a line worker. She says the policy where she worked said if kids couldn’t pay, workers had to take their lunches away. “I couldn’t do that, so a lot of times I would just reach into my own pocket, I would pay for their lunch. Most of the other employees that I worked with would do the same,” said Williams. When kids would come through the lunch line, they’d bring their tray to the front and type in their account number on a keypad. If they didn’t have enough money in their account, they’d be given an alternate lunch. Now with the Full Belly Program, they’re given the same lunch as everyone else. Ad.”I have a problem with alternate lunches because, I mean, that just kind of screams ‘I don’t have any money.’ Everybody sees they’ve got a cheese sandwich, so that can be embarrassing,” said Williams. “If the parents, a couple days later, put money in, we can always charge it right back to that parents’ account so that we’re really only using it for those that are really in need. but it’s a stopgap to prevent anybody from not getting a lunch,” said Williams. At Louisville Elementary, which serves K-5 students, workers are no longer giving alternate lunches. “My ladies can just give them their lunch, they can move on with their day, they don’t even have to be told that we’ve used it,” said Williams. “It’s all done behind the scenes and the kids don’t even realize it’s happening,” said Williams. “They’re just getting a lunch, so that they can fill their bellies so that they can learn for the day.
California signs bill to end lunch shaming with meals for all students
A bill signed Saturday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to cut the recent trend in schools of “Lunch shaming.” SB 265, which was originally introduced by California state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, will require that all public school students have a “State reimbursable” meal provided by the school “Even if their parent or guardian has unpaid meal fees.” It amends the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017, which previously stated that students with lunch debts be offered “Alternative” meals by school districts, charter schools and boards of education. The phenomenon of “Lunch shaming” students nationwide, which has included taking away meals on students’ birthdays, firing cafeteria employees and threatening to send students to foster care – has drawn ire from parents, fellow students and business owners in recent months. ‘Worst birthday ever!’:School changes lunch policy after taking away student’s cheesy breadsticks on his birthday. Newsom referred to the story of Ryan Kyote, a third grader in Napa, California, who used up his saved allowance to pay off his classmates’ outstanding debts after seeing that a student was forced to return her hot lunch because of her debt. The two met in August, which Newsom called an “Honor.” “I want to thank Ryan for his empathy and his courage in bringing awareness to this important issue,” said Newsom in a statement. Monday, Ellen DeGeneres reacted to the bill, quoting a tweet from Newsom and saying “This is incredible.” Nearly 500,000 children might no longer be automatically eligible for free lunch as a result of a Trump administration proposal to reduce “Loopholes” in food stamp access.