School district reverses decision to restrict lunches for students who owe lunch money

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A school district in Rhode Island has reversed its decision to limit school lunch choices for kids who owe money on their accounts. 

Warwick Public Schools made national headlines after it said on Sunday that students who owe money will only receive a sun butter and jelly sandwich for lunch unless they pay or establish a payment plan effective May 13.

Warwick School Committee chairwoman Karen Bachus has told NBC News that the policy would not go into effect on Monday as previously planned and that administrators will meet to discuss other possible solutions.{mosads}

“We seek to find a balance between being fiscally responsible and ensuring that all our students are provided with a healthy, nutritious lunch,” she said in a statement.

More than 1,600 students owe between $1 and $500, the district told NBC. In total, the district is owed about $77,000.

Bachus said that once the policy was announced, the district received about $14,000 in payment, but that the debt amount is constantly in flux.  

The policy was criticized by parents and others on social media following its announcement. 

“This is absolutely awful. Our schools shouldn’t be in the business of shaming children,” one user wrote.

“Just give the kids lunch. … we cant spring for a chicken patty for a hungry kid? What if this is their only meal of the day?” another said. 

Tags Rhode Island School school lunch
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