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New lunch policy: we can do better

Deven Mantz, Minot

I noticed the Minot School Board came out with a new updated lunch policy and wanted to share it. The more I think about it the more it bugs me. So here’s the gist:

1) If a child has a negative lunch balance of $15 or more, they will be served a PB&J sandwich every day. This is not just problematic because of the $1.50 they still will be charged, (leading them further into the abyss) but over and over studies have shown us that this is traumatic for the student. In many different ways in fact. A quick Google search can see this is a big issue around the country, with lots of good ideas on how to deal with school meal debt.

2) The administration can now prohibit students with a negative lunch balance from doing any fee-based activities. Really? Let us just exclude all the kids whose families are having a tough time already and make them feel worse about their situation than they already do.

3) The new policy now ok’s the use of private debt collectors and social services for child neglect… You have got to be kidding me.

Look, school lunch debt is a growing issue in this country, not just Minot. As a community, we should be able to come up with a solution better than this. It’s unfortunate that the School Board took the approach of punishing children and working families who are obviously having a tough time making ends meet.

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