A student was reportedly denied a lunch at a high school in Alabama because he couldn’t pay. Then, the lunch was thrown into the trash, a woman claimed.
The woman, Laurie Brown, said the student was transferred to Foley High School in Baldwin County due to the impacts from Hurricane Michael, which hit the southern United States in October.
On Facebook, Brown wrote: “The student that was behind her (that got the chicken sandwich, fries an orange and a drink) is trying to charge his lunch to his account. Did I mention that this was this child’s first day at Foley High school? Anyway, the cafeteria lady proceeds to tell his child that he can’t charge his lunch. Her words were ‘no money, no lunch’. And then of all things she takes his tray, the tray complete with a chicken sandwich, fries, an orange, and a drink, AND THROWS IT IN THE TRASH!!!!”
UPDATE: I called the high school this morning and spoke to asst. principal Webb. She was very nice and really helpful….
Brown is the parent of another student, WKRG reported.
A source in the school told the station that Brown’s post isn’t entirely accurate. They said the student was in the school for two weeks, and his parents had met with school officials about the incident.
Superintendent Eddie Tyler issued a statement on the matter, saying no child will go hungry. “We have investigated the matter reported at our school about a child’s lunch being thrown away and fed a sandwich. Out of respect to the family’s privacy, all we can say is that the child was fed and the family has no problem with how the matter was handled,” he said.
He added that his school district serves about 10,000 free or reduced lunches every day.
In a later update, Brown wrote: “ I called the high school this morning and spoke to asst. principal Webb. She was very nice and really helpful. She called Emma [another student] and the boy into her office to question them about yesterday. She assured me that the lunch situation has been taken care of so everybody can rest easy. She said that she asked the student if he saw his lunch being thrown in the garbage and he said he didn’t.”
“But Emma said she witnessed the tray being dumped in the trash. Mrs. Webb said that it could have happened and the boy may not have seen it. Mrs. Webb explained that once a student ‘touches’ a tray they can’t give that tray out to another student,” Brown continued.
Tyler’s full statement read: “Today we have been dealing with questions about our school system’s lunchroom policy, prompted by a Facebook post, and we want to make it clear that no child in our system will go hungry or without a meal regardless of his or her economic means. Every day we feed nearly 10,000 free and reduced lunches through the Federal Lunch Program that our school system cafeterias offer.”
The National School Lunch Program is a federal meal program that operates in public and nonprofit private schools, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
“Further, our employees are dedicated to our students and would not let a child go hungry. Many volunteer their time and money to help families in need. We have investigated the matter reported at our school about a child’s lunch being thrown away and fed a sandwich. Out of respect to the family’s privacy, all we can say is that the child was fed and the family has no problem with how the matter was handled,” Tyler said.