Lunch Taken From Students And Tossed Into Trash

school lunch tray

(Salt Lake City, UT) Parents are angry and there are a lot of questions after dozens of students at a Salt Lake City elementary school were served lunch, only to have the food taken from them and thrown away.

The problem started with children whose lunch accounts had run out of money at  Uintah Elementary School.

Each child was handed their lunch, then when they got to the register the food was taken way and tossed if the student’s account was short money.

Parent Erica Lukes told KSTU-TV taking away her child’s lunch was “ridiculous.”

“I don’t think any child should have to feel like that over a two-dollar lunch balance,” she said.

The students were given milk and fresh fruits.

The school district says the food had to be tossed once it was handed to the student per health laws.

Jason Olsen, communication director for the Salt Lake City School District, said, “This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner. We apologize.

We are also investigating what type of notification parents may or may not have received prior to this week. The schools says they inform students when they go through the lunch line if they have a low balance. They say they also send notes home in the student’s Monday folders. However, when contacted Monday or Tuesday, many parents were surprised by the news. The district has specific guidelines for school kitchen managers on how parents should be notified, and we are currently investigating to see if these guidelines were followed correctly.

We understand the feelings of upset parents and students who say this was an embarrassing and humiliating situation. We again apologize and commit to working with parents in rectifying this situation and to ensuring students are never treated in this manner again.”

55 comments

  • Donna

    students are at the mercy of their parents. Especially the elementary kids. We allow students to charge their lunch if no m0ney and they then owe the office the money. We will never let a child go hungry. We are here to feed the kids and if the parents do not see to it then we will. I can not say the same about other schools and cafeteria’s but that is our policy. We are a real SCS school and take care of our students.

  • Jonathan Braden

    trashed food hungry kids real problem somebody seriously needs to lose their job for this i’m really disturbed by this The cafeteria manager rather throw away food instead of sending notification for a 2.00 meal really!! I also hold the teacher responsible because if i’m not mistaken role call is taken daily and students pay for lunch then that’s how it was done when i was in elementary i’m 29 now

  • Mae

    Let’s stop playing the “Blame Game”. True, children’s needs are the parent’s responsibility. Every institution has rules and regulations and
    must be enforced by the person in charge. Often times the one in charge is following instructions from a higher authority. The higher authority is following rules set by the one (perhaps the government) who mandates how and when food is to be distributed. So, who’s the REAL CULPRIT? Parents, let’s communicate with our children and their school a little closer so these oops won’t happen again. I’m an educator and my child’s account has had a zero balance before, but I accept responsibility for allowing it to get too low. My child, however, was threatened to eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich if she didn’t bring money and deposit in her account. Thanks be to God my child reminded me of the situation before it got to that. Should she have had to eat a peanut & jelly sandwich, I feel that, we, the parents would be at fault.

    God bless the children, the parents, & all who make up our school systems!

  • lisa j c

    Obama needs to give plp a raise on there food stamps again and to those who are on ssi and ss and start doing wat he said he was going to do when he went in office for us and start helping plp that needs the help and that’s pretty sorry of the school ti just sit there and take a kids food from them cause of money that’s just sorry looks like to me they need new plp to servers in the school that will help the kids that need it not take there food from them and throw it in the trash that’s just wrong to do such a thing to a child wat if somone done that to there kids wouldn’t they want to stand up and say something about it cause i bet there kids didn’t have to pay for there food

    • sherry

      lisa I am replyimg to your post beacuse I couldnt take the time to sign up for comment–this is not directed at your specific comment just an overall response-…
      clearly, this is a case and point of the haves and haves nots–and they are making a point with our children–little children. not the high schoolers who know to come home and tell the parents they need money but the lille ones who would be confused and hurt that they did not get a tray of food-
      now lets make the elementary children who know nothing anout bad economy and federal money go without lunch, be embarrassed, and a school district that states “well we couldnt put the food back on the line for health reasons we had to throw it away–those children needed to eat for health reasons!!!!! who are these monsters??????why are they working with children–money is appointed to schools for this reason soooo I am totally angry, disgusted–Obama what do you think???

  • renee

    I used to work at SCS in the cafeteria. I, as a parent, could not EVER turn a child away from lunch. My co-workers and I would bring out own money in and “lend” it out to the children who didn’t have money. As mothers, we couldn’t imagine our children being embarrassed in that way. Shame on those ignorant people!!! It’s hard enough with the peer pressure of school, much less trying to embarrass these sweet babies! Shame, shame, shame!!!

  • Cheshepe

    This recently happened to my kids. I have been laid off due to business closing and my mother passed away the same month. The funeral cost, the work my husband lost plus my unemployement set us back a whole month. I was unable to factor in school lunch for my middle schoolers. I’m not looking for a hand out. Why am I explaining my hardship to anyone? Its because sometimes we need a poster child. We are almost caught up but it would be nice if the school system had a program for families who can prove a temporary hardship. However, they dont and my kids have had friends give them money or share their lunch. I tried to keep them home on days i dont have $4.50 but i ended up in a truancy meeting. And I really wish people would stop saying a bailout, or a handout. What difference does it make? Jesus wants us to give to the poor and needy. If they take advantage it won’t last. They will eventually exhaust their resources. Besides the poor’s extortions of the government in this country falls very short compared to corporation’s subsidies, bailouts and tax breaks.

  • Joe Bo

    What an outrage, you people complain about free lunch in American schools. The Bush era got us involved in 2 wars that resulted in Trillions of dollars in US DEBT. In, fact we left behind soo much scrap mettal, that you could feed every child in this country for the next 60 years. Why the right wing imbeciles will not debate this issue is astounding. Instead, they choose to argue about a free lunch.

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