Central Indiana mother says kids were ‘lunch shamed;’ EVSC says it doesn’t withhold meals

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT/ABC) – After a central Indiana mother said her kids were denied food at school and shamed because they didn’t have enough money on their account, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) affirmed that it never withholds meals and works with parents on flexible payment plans.

District policy allows elementary and middle school students to charge meals.

High school students get an IOU slip that must be repaid the next day.

Students cannot charge a la carte foods and students with a negative balance can’t buy a la carte at all.

The corporation’s official guidelines said students with outstanding balances are told at the register.

The school sends home weekly payment reminders and makes bi-weekly courtesy calls to households with a negative balance of $10 or more.

Accounts in the red $50 or more are turned over to collections if there’s been no attempt to pay it back after two weeks.

Also this year, the EVSC implemented the community eligibility provision at 21 schools, allowing all students to get breakfast and lunch at no charge.

Central Indiana incident

LEBANON, Ind. (ABC) – Shaina Lawson said her 2nd and 5th grade daughters came home crying from Harney Elementary School in Lebanon after the cafeteria worker denied them breakfast that morning.

They were so upset they didn’t want to go to school.

Lawson didn’t reload accounts in time so when the girls were checking out, they were told they weren’t allowed to eat because they didn’t have money.

Lebanon Community Schools said students aren’t allowed to purchase anything when there’s no money on their accounts, but there is an alternate menu option available to them.

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(This story was originally published on October 9, 2019)

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