At least 40 children at a Utah school faced a bizarre moment when their lunches were seized and thrown away by the school’s nutrition manager only just because they did not have enough money in their accounts.
The incident sparked a wave of angry response from parents.
“She took my lunch away and said go get a milk,” Sophia Isom, a fifth-grader at Salt Lake City’s Uintah Elementary School, said.
“I came back and asked, what’s going on? Then she handed me an orange and said, you don’t have any money in your account so you can’t get lunch,” Isom added.
Erica Lukes, Isom’s mother, called the move ‘traumatic and humiliating’.
“I think it’s despicable,” she said.
She further opined that children shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for anything and added, “The parents obviously need to clear up.”
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City District spokesperson Jason Olsen said that parents were notified about negative balances on Monday itself.
Olsen was very quick to add that a child nutrition manager had decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue.
“Lunches were thrown away because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another,” Olsen explained in an attempt to clear the air.