US public schools have sparked outrage after announcing jam sandwiches would be served to children whose parents owed money for unpaid lunches.

Parents expressed their horror online, slamming the government-run schools, in Rhode Island, for punishing children for something beyond their control, shares Yahoo Lifestyle.

The announcement was made to Warwick Public Schools’ Facebook on May 6, with the post declaring the harsh policy would come into effect from May 13.

Parents usually select their child’s meals from a menu and pay for them online – topping up their account balance according to what their child ate.

But the schools said too many parents failed to pay off arrears, so in a move to incentivise debt payment, children would be served a “sun butter and jelly sandwich”.

Children would continue to be served the sandwich “until the balance owed is paid in full or a payment plan is set up” the post stated.

The announcement received fiery backlash from hundreds of angry parents, some comparing the treatment to meal options available to criminals in prison.

“The fact that some kids will have to suffer due to something that could be beyond their control is awful,” someone wrote.

School Committee chairwoman Karen Bachus argued the policy needed to be enforced due to the growing financial strain largely a result of unpaid lunches.

“This policy actually comes out of a serious debt that we’re incurring by people who are not paying for their lunches, and it’s getting worse,” Ms Bachus told The Providence Journal.

Is this too far?

Share your comments below


  • I have no idea how this actually works but if parents order and pay online why is their a debt? Just don’t let the kids get extra things that aren’t ordered.

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  • Only in the USA – wait for it, it could happen here – let’s wait till the election is over.

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  • Not only is it going too far, it is disgraceful taking it out on the kids.

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  • That’s terrible, why do the children have to suffer because of their parents.

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  • It they are having such a problem why not just have the kids take their money to school for each time they are buying lunch. Or make it part of their school fees. Kids shouldn’t have to suffer because parents don’t have the money. Aren’t they allowed to take their lunches to school?

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  • I don’t understand the USA school lunch policy, so can’t really say if this is the right thing to do.
    But I do feel sorry for the kids for not knowing why they are being served jam sandwiches and the others kids get aren’t.

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  • I’m conflicted about this one. The parents shouldn’t owe money, so if they don’t want their kids to have a jam sandwich, then they should pay up. There are consequences for every action, it’s just that the consequences seem to fall on someone else here…hmm…but what else can the school do?? Also, i think there would be many, many kids in Australia who get sent to school with jam sandwiches.

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  • Hmmmm… I don’t like this. But, I also don’t like that people think they can get away with not paying for things. That’s not okay.

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  • Showing my ignorance here, but do all US schools serve lunch to students as policy, or do they have the option to bring it from home? Better to have something than go hungry, I would think.

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  • I don’t think this is the answer to their issue of money in arrears.

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  • If we had a lunch order at school as a treat or there was no fresh bread we had to enclose the money. Mum discovered bread could be frozen and kept fresh that way. You could spread margarine on it as it was thawing (it thawed fairly quickly) and it was usually just cold but not soggy.

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  • while its great that the kids are still getting fed, what happens when the other kids start to clue on that this is the result of parents not paying for food or being able to afford food…..those kids could be teased for being poor or for having slack parents….making those kids stand out from the rest will likely result in something negative. Perhaps they could increase the school fee and include the meals….?

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  • Why not just pack your kids lunch?

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  • Could be worse; no lunch at all. Not sure what the “sun” part of the sandwich is though?

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  • So the child gets an unsatisfying, unhealthy meal as punishment, please this is unacceptable

    Reply

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