Bill would prevent schools from 'lunch shaming' students - WNEM TV 5

Bill would prevent schools from 'lunch shaming' students

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PENNSYLVANIA -

Another U.S. Senator is on board with a bill to prevent schools from stigmatizing children who can’t afford the price of lunch.

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania wants to ban the practice of singling out students for “lunch shaming.”

The cost of school lunch averages around $2.50 and millions can’t afford it. In 1990, 10 million students were getting free lunches. In 2000, that jumped to 13 million.

Last year, there were 20 million students.

In some districts, students who don’t have enough money for lunch are forced to war wristbands or do chores. Other districts take away the child’s tray of hot food and hand the student a brown paper bag containing a cheese sandwich and milk.

Some schools take away their lunch entirely.

Parents said there needs to be a better solution.

“To get to school and be denied something to eat is not a good way for these kids to learn, and it says a lot about the future,” Jeff Katz said.

The legislation in Congress would require schools to address meal debt with the parent, not the child. It would make applying for free or reduced lunch easier as well. 

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