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(3,496 posts)
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:12 PM Dec 2017

Does your schools shame free lunch children?

My cousin told me last night her middle school uses color coded tickets,

White paid in full

Pink reduced

Yellow free

Students at lunch present tickets after picking food and moving down a line.



(16,795 posts)
1. That sucks....They should have either punch cards or electronic cards and they all are the same....
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:14 PM
Dec 2017

And the cost or whether they are free is done when the card is given out or needs to be "reloaded"...

Response to Turbineguy (Reply #2)


(503 posts)
3. No, ours has everyone enter their student id number into a keypad
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:19 PM
Dec 2017

Then the register will ring up reduced and free lunches as assigned to the number, with no one the wiser.


(3,496 posts)
5. That's a great way
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:22 PM
Dec 2017

Her principal told her it was not to embarrass children but all about accounting and paper work.

Pa leeeze!


(12,001 posts)
18. Same here in Florida Keys.
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 02:20 PM
Dec 2017

Did you know that if a child lives in a trailer or on a boat (yes, there are many live aboard boaters in the islands, often on fancy yachts) they are considered homeless and entitled to free school meals?

Anyway, since Irma, all school meals are now free.


(8,304 posts)
8. Most public schools likely have a computerized system, with up-to-date payment status keyed in
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:29 PM
Dec 2017

The only students who were lunch shamed were those who were not receiving free lunch. These kids had to give up their lunch trays when they got to the cashier, if their parents hadn't paid.

I've never seen schools shame free lunch children.


(45,155 posts)
10. Our PTA has a fund so everyone gets a lunch and the cost is covered.
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:31 PM
Dec 2017

If someone never has the money, the PTA works with the parent to sign up for the reduced or free lunch.


(503 posts)
17. Our school allows kids to charge up to 5 lunches on account
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 02:14 PM
Dec 2017

They are expected to pay for it by the end of the school year but it does avoid any child going without a lunch on any given day.


(885 posts)
12. Nope...
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:37 PM
Dec 2017

That sucks.

All children at the elementary school my kids go to receive free breakfast and lunch regardless of their ability to pay. It's pretty awesome.



(25,586 posts)
14. Our kids' school avoids the entire issue
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:39 PM
Dec 2017

by giving everyone a free lunch, and a breakfast as well, if they arrive early.


(5,998 posts)
15. I worked in a school cafeteria for two years
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 01:42 PM
Dec 2017

and we were NOT ALLOWED to talk about whether or not a student was on a free or reduced meal program. Not even with other staff at the school.

(Of course, in reality, it was pretty common knowledge who was and who wasn't based, mostly, on food choices.)

But our system was computerized, so there were never those visual clues. I'm sure the staff needs to know, in order to charge each student properly... And I'd bet they'd welcome suggestions for other ways to handle it.


(37,978 posts)
19. Everybody gets a free lunch in our school district.
Wed Dec 13, 2017, 02:23 PM
Dec 2017

Collecting money from those families who are able to pay isn't worth the trouble. There is no way to pay directly for lunches, but we contributed to the schools in other ways. I'm happy to pay whatever taxes make this possible.

School cafeterias here are also open during the holidays too, offering free meals to any kid 17 and under.

It's not great food, but it's much better than nothing at all, and better than some of the lunches I saw kids bringing from home... an example would be a box of sugary fruit punch, a bag of chips, one of those horrible mystery meat sausage sticks, and candy. That is not a nutritious lunch!

I usually packed healthy lunches for my kids and I trust they didn't throw any away. I do know they occasionally traded what they had for school cafeteria pizza or chocolate milk. (I'm not a fan of the factory farm dairy industry and its nutritional propaganda, but whatever...)

And it was nice knowing my kids wouldn't go hungry whenever they forgot their lunches. My own parents, who rarely gave us money for school lunches (35 cents then) because they usually didn't have it, were unsympathetic when we forgot our lunches from home. I don't recall learning any significant moral principle from that, I was just hungry.

The school lunches of truly first world nations put U.S. school lunches to shame and there's no differentiation between students in the lunch line.

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