By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/30/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Parents of as many as 40 kids from an elementary school in Salt Lake City, are fuming after a cafeteria nutrition manager took lunches away from hungry students and tossed them into the trash. According to school officials, the kids' parents were behind on lunch payments.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Catholic Online) - About 40 kids at Unitah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah were served lunch on Tuesday only to have their trays taken away and tossed into the trash by a cafeteria nutrition manager. According to the school, the children's parents had fallen behind on lunch meal payments.
Children were frightened and embarrassed as they were told to make do with a milk and an orange, the standard offering for a student who cannot pay for their meal. Of course, a piece of fruit does not provide sufficient nutrition for a growing child, and these children were forced to spend the rest of the school day hungry.
Let no child go hungry.
According to children who were present, at least one cafeteria worker burst into tears as the hapless kids had their lunches confiscated.
Health policy states that served meals must be discarded if they are not eaten.
The cafeteria nutrition manager visited the site aware that several parents were behind on their children's lunch payments. The manager decided to withhold lunches from all students whose parents were behind, but cafeteria workers were unable to compile the list until after the meals were served. The manager then collected the trays of students who had already been served and tossed the food into the trash as children watched.
The school district had already attempted to collect the past-due lunch money on Monday. However, several parents said they were not reached.
Parents were livid when they heard the news. Several explained that their children were humiliated and embarrassed.
The problem of course, is that children are being punished for the errors of their parents. Regardless whether the parents did not pay out of a deliberate effort to avoid the bill, or genuinely did not know that they were behind, the children were the ones who paid on Tuesday.
The school district has already apologized for the incident and explained that it did not condone the manner in which they cafeteria nutrition manager handled the situation. The school also said that it was taking steps to ensure this would not happen again.
Not just in Utah, but all around the world children go hungry on a regular basis for the failings and sins of their parents and community leaders. The reasons children go hungry are many, and the solutions are few. Ultimately, somebody has to see that children obtain the proper nutrition no matter who their parents are, or where they may be.
Although schools in the United States offer free lunches to kids who come from low income families, not every parent has made the effort to sign their children up. Oftentimes, young children cannot do anything for themselves because they have no way of filling out paperwork or proving that their parents are incapable of paying for their lunches. Only about half of the children thought to be eligible for school lunches receives them. A few school districts laudably provide free lunches to all, regardless of finances.
Other children come from families that can afford to pay, but go without because of neglect.
Meanwhile, around the world children go hungry for many other reasons. Pope Francis has pledged the Catholic Church to fighting world hunger and to solving the crisis by 2025. Catholic online has joined with Pope Francis to see to it that his holy mission is accomplished. Catholic online are invited to donate food that is being sent to the hungry and the poor by clicking here.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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