Posted 12 months ago on Jan. 30, 2014, 10:28 a.m. EST by LeoYo
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Reports: Lunches seized from Utah schoolkids because of unpaid bills
By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor
Dozens of children at a Utah school had their lunches seized and thrown away because they did not have enough money in their accounts, prompting an angry response from parents, it was reported.
"She took my lunch away and said, 'Go get a milk,’” Sophia Isom, a fifth-grader at Salt Lake City’s Uintah Elementary School, told NBC affiliate KSL.com. "I came back and asked, 'What's going on?' Then she handed me an orange. She said, 'You don't have any money in your account so you can't get lunch.’”
Up to 40 kids suffered similar treatment, given fruit and milk as their lunches were thrown away, the station reported.
Isom's mom Erica Lukes called the move “traumatic and humiliating” and told the Salt Lake Tribune she was all paid up.
"I think it’s despicable," she said. "These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up."
Salt Lake City District Spokesperson Jason Olsen told the Tribune that parents had been notified about negative balances on Monday and a child nutrition manager had decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue. They were thrown away because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another, he explained.