April 6th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

No noon meal for kids in debt at middle school

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - Sorry, kid. No money, no lunch.

Students at an Attleboro, Massachusetts, middle school went hungry this week, if they had a negative balance on their pre-paid lunch cards.

Five cents of debt was enough for cafeteria employees at the Coehlo Middle School to instruct kids at least one day this week to dump out the food they would have normally eaten, CNN affiliate WJAR in Rhode Island reported.

About 25 children left the lunchroom with empty stomachs, said Whitson's Culinary Group in a statement. The company runs the school's cafeteria.

Parents were appalled. So was the principal. So was Whitson's.

"I told them this is bullying; that's neglect, child abuse," said parent Jo-An Blanchard.

Principal Andrew Boles apologized and blamed the culinary company. "My expectation is that every child, every adult, every parent, every student, every teacher is respected in this building, and that didn't happen yesterday because of Whitson's," he told WJAR.

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Filed under: Middle school • Nutrition • School lunch
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Shelby

    I don't think it is right to not let a kid have lunch because they sometimes can not pay for it because they don't have the money

    April 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  2. BG Free

    Terrible. When I go to a restaurant or a grocery store, they all know that paying is optional, and I get my food anyway.

    April 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Paul Ryan

      @BG Free - Of course that is not OK. Kids should go hungry if they can not pay. However, GE should be allowed to pay zero tax. And it is OK to allow GE to use roads and other infrastructure - for FREE. The only welfare we should allow is Corporate Welfare. Amen.

      April 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  3. Mike

    Denying kids food will help reduce 0.0000000001% of deficit. Paul Ryan is smiling. Good job, Mr. Ryan. You are truly inspiring.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Chris

      Yes. The money Mr. Ryan saved should be now given to Exxon oil spill clean up. Need to keep big oil happy. Kids are resilient – they will survive.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Sara

    This is actually a common occurance. It happens less these days; it happened -alot- during the 80 and 90's. I can't count how many times I used to have to watch others eat snack and lunch while I watched, without food of my own.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:42 am |
  5. nik kripalani

    I am appalled. I ashamed for what that middle school is doing.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:21 am |