Lisa Hogan, a mother from Waldorf, Maryland, said her two children were humiliated because they were fed plain cheese sandwiches instead of a standard lunch after the family’s account became overdue.
Hogan’s children, Justin and Hailee, both 7 years old, were allegedly told to return their trays and exchange them for the sandwiches at a Charles County School this week. The family apparently owed $12 on the lunch account.
"It sets them up for ridicule and bullying," Hogan said.
Charles County Schools spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson explained that students receive an alternative lunch when accounts fall behind by $12 — each lunch costs $2.40. Every day, the county serves an average of 154 alternative lunches. "No student is ever denied a lunch at the elementary level," Simpson-O'Malley said.
Hogan doesn’t deny she fell behind on the lunch account, but said someone should have talked to her before her children were given the sandwiches. She alleges the lunches her children were originally served were thrown away.
O'Malley-Simpson said parents are notified about accounts that are in the red with a weekly note that's sent home with the child, but they can opt into receiving automatic emails from the site used to pay for lunches.
Image via USDA/Flickr