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No lunch for you! Only cheese sandwiches!

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MichelleCarmen

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My kids' school has this policy and we live in an area with higher income and tax brackets and less than 5% qualify for free lunch. They're not just singling out parents who cannot afford, they're just trying to remind parents to keep track of the balance on their child(rens) lunch card since most parents here do have the resources to feed their children.

Like Kimberly brought up, our district uses the debit card system and tracks the balances. My kids only get hot lunches on Friday, as a treat, and even when we go into the negative (as I never remember to pay until they remind me and the balance will be -$2.25), my kids have ALWAYS gotten a regular hot lunch, not a cheese sandwich AND I pay when they send the reminder note home.

I think the story only applies to extreme cases where the negative balances reach high amounts. It's sad and unfortunate, but the schools are trying the best that they can to make sure kids don't go hungry and they're not because a cheese sandwich fills their tummies.

Most importantly: bringing lunches from home is SO much cheaper than hot lunches. . .A bag of bagels is only $2.00. I do not understand why a parent would purchase hot lunches with their own $ when they could feed their kids for three times as many days on food from the grocery store.

My kids bring water as a drink in their lunch and that is FREE
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LAJennifer

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Date: 2/26/2009 4:48:45 PM
Author: MC
My kids' school has this policy and we live in an area with higher income and tax brackets and less than 5% qualify for free lunch. They're not just singling out parents who cannot afford, they're just trying to remind parents to keep track of the balance on their child(rens) lunch card since most parents here do have the resources to feed their children.

Like Kimberly brought up, our district uses the debit card system and tracks the balances. My kids only get hot lunches on Friday, as a treat, and even when we go into the negative (as I never remember to pay until they remind me and the balance will be -$2.25), my kids have ALWAYS gotten a regular hot lunch, not a cheese sandwich AND I pay when they send the reminder note home.

I think the story only applies to extreme cases where the negative balances reach high amounts. It's sad and unfortunate, but the schools are trying the best that they can to make sure kids don't go hungry and they're not because a cheese sandwich fills their tummies.

Most importantly: bringing lunches from home is SO much cheaper than hot lunches. . .A bag of bagels is only $2.00. I do not understand why a parent would purchase hot lunches with their own $ when they could feed their kids for three times as many days on food from the grocery store.

My kids bring water as a drink in their lunch and that is FREE
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Hi MC. I think in the original article - some of the cheese sandwiches are going to kids whose parents forget to pay. Please don't take this the wrong way, but can you explain to me how you forget to pay? Isn't it like any other bill? I would imagine that most don't pay their mortgages, utilities, etc only when sent a reminder.

My nephews go to private school - and they have to pay a month in advance for lunches (if april lunches aren't paid for by march 25, then no hot lunch for the month of april). My bro and sis-in-law forget to pay sometimes and it makes my mother so angry. They have plenty of money - yet they "forget" to pay on time and my nephews have to go without hot lunch for a whole month. Yet they don't forget their hair appointments, cell phone bills, or evenings out with friends.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Date: 2/26/2009 5:31:12 PM
Author: LAJennifer

Hi MC. I think in the original article - some of the cheese sandwiches are going to kids whose parents forget to pay. Please don't take this the wrong way, but can you explain to me how you forget to pay? Isn't it like any other bill? I would imagine that most don't pay their mortgages, utilities, etc only when sent a reminder.
Well, as I said, my kids only get hot lunch once a week, so every few months, I send them to school with a $50 check and that money is put on a debt card for each kid. I just wait until it gets the balance is zero - $2.25 to pay again. I don't write on my calander that two months from now I should send them to school with another check. (Guess I should do so.)

I do not think I'm a "deadbeat mom" for waiting unti their balance is up. It's not like I wait until it's negative $20 and then pay. Because they only get hot lunch once a week, it's not a focal point of my weekly routine and I forget. Okay, maybe I'm not the most organized of moms. . .
 

MichelleCarmen

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Date: 2/26/2009 5:31:12 PM
Author: LAJennifer
My nephews go to private school - and they have to pay a month in advance for lunches (if april lunches aren''t paid for by march 25, then no hot lunch for the month of april). My bro and sis-in-law forget to pay sometimes and it makes my mother so angry. They have plenty of money - yet they ''forget'' to pay on time and my nephews have to go without hot lunch for a whole month. Yet they don''t forget their hair appointments, cell phone bills, or evenings out with friends.
And to clarify if I didn''t say so in my answer to you. My kids would NEVER go a whole month w/out me paying. It''s when they get to -$2.25 that I pay for another few months.

Parents are not perfect and don''t take THIS the wrong way, but most people are over judgemental until they become parents themselves.
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packrat

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I don''t know how the schools here do it now, but in my school, first we had a lunch ticket that was punched-a milk card and a meal card. In the younger grades the teachers kept them in their desks. Then in..junior high I think, we became super fancy high tech, and each student had a lunch account and a laminated card..similar to a credit card. Mom would give us each $20 and we''d take it to the school secretary and she''d put it in our accounts..we were told when the balance was getting low so we could let Mom know. They never said we couldn''t eat if we ran out..they''d let us get a couple few meals in the hole. Even when we had the punch cards, the secretary would just right it down that we "owed" a meal and milk, and punch extra next time. Once I hit high school tho, I started just taking a nutty bar every day and keeping the lunch money for myself. My friends would just sneak me sandwiches..we had awesome school food tho. For being a rinky dink little town, I''m surprised by that, especially when I hear all kinds of stories about how horrible other schools food is.
 

tlh

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Prisoners complain that they don''t get all the cable channels.
I am not in prison, have never done anything wrong, and I DONT EVEN HAVE BASIC CABLE! I get 10 channels 2 are shopping, 2 are in a language I DONT SPEAK, and 1 is to tell me what is on the other channels taht I dont have!

People will complain about handouts, or a helping hand up... but I find the more handouts we give, the less one takes ownership for owns own actions and begins to rely heavily on the hand out.
 

dragonfly411

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tlh - THAT DRIVES ME CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY


I cannot stand the feelings of entitlement people have these days. You commited a crime, you do not get to live a life of luxury.

As to the lunch thing - I really feel these parents should be thankful that their children are being fed at ALL with out any money or lunch of their own. The meal is wholesome and healthy and I WANT A CHEESE SAMMICH PLEASE!! LOL. I do feel like maybe providing them a bagged lunch before entering the lunch room might be better, and I also feel like they might need to check to make sure no food allergies exist. But I think it''s very good to have that kind of program and parents need to stop complaining or provide their child with food. Period.
 

toleong

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Interesting thread. I live in MN and the policy is the same for my district. After 3 days no lunch for the elementary students. When the balance on the account is almost deleted, the student will get a red stamp on their hand and the students are supposed to inform the students that they need lunch money. I admit my dd has come home with the stamp before...

Here''s the wording of the policy:

* Elementary students are allowed to debit their account for several meals. (We know that sometimes checks can get stuck in the bottom of back-packs.)

* Once an elementary student has exhausted funds, a cheese sandwich and beverage will be given instead of a lunch. While this may seem extreme, budgetary constraints direct us to this action. (Note, too, that some districts do not give students without money anything to eat.) After three days without a deposit to the account, no food will be given.

* Please do not leave your child in the embarrassing situation of being without funds. (If you are a family in need of assistance, be sure to see the EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS link.)
 

indypitty

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Date: 2/25/2009 8:07:26 PM
Author: Haven
brooklyn--Yes, I agree that if a student doesn't qualify for the program and his parents still can't pay for lunch, something must be wrong with the program. OR, the parents spend more than they earn on non-essentials and they assume that someone at school will just take care of their kid. OR, the student pockets his lunch money every day for extra cash on the weekends. I teach high school, and I've seen all of the above happen.

As for worrying about the kids being singled out, that's an easy problem to fix.

It looks like this school has gone above and beyond by offering these cheese sandwiches, and shame on the parents for looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Ugh... I teach 5th grade and I see this ALL the time! About 84% of my students qualify for frr lunch, yet many of them come to school with new clothes, expensive shoes, and cell phones, IPOD's, etc...!

BTW ~ most of my students also eat breakfast at school, FOR FREE!
 

steph72276

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They should just be happy their child is getting something to eat. I''m in Florida and with all of our budget problems, my son''s PreK class is being CANCELED next year because of lack of funding! Now we are going to have to pay major $$ to send him to private school instead, so these parents need to have a reality check done and be THANKFUL for the free food! Ok, rant over, sorry!!!
 

Maria D

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Date: 2/28/2009 10:08:42 AM
Author: steph72276
They should just be happy their child is getting something to eat. I''m in Florida and with all of our budget problems, my son''s PreK class is being CANCELED next year because of lack of funding! Now we are going to have to pay major $$ to send him to private school instead, so these parents need to have a reality check done and be THANKFUL for the free food! Ok, rant over, sorry!!!

Save your money, keep your son home until K. Both states that we lived in when my daughter was 3-4 did not have public pre-K. I didn''t bother sending her to private pre-K because I thought it was too expensive and unnecessary. I signed her up for swim classes at the Y and took her to free programs (library, parks & rec)instead. She''s 15 now and at the top of her class.
 

steph72276

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Thanks, Maria. I would keep him home, but he is already in school 2 days a week this year, so I wanted to try to keep him in the routine of going to a classroom so it won''t be a big issue when he goes to Kindergarten. I do think I will just let him go 2 days a week now that they have cut funding though. I do the same thing, have him in swim lessons, library storytime, parks for playdates, etc, so I think he is getting enough interaction.
 
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