LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. - In the community of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and ones like it all over the country, students were going without lunch at school. Worse, they were being shamed for not being able to afford to eat.
Until this year, if students in the school district didn’t have enough funds in their lunch account, they wouldn’t be allowed to eat, and the lunch they had selected would be thrown out and replaced with an “alternative lunch.”
“[Previously] when it was determined they couldn’t actually pay, the lunch would be thrown away, and then they were given at the time the policy was an alternative lunch, which is horrifying,” Dr. Ziad Munsen, a parent and school board member, told Fox 29 Philadelphia.
This past summer, the policy was changed to allow all students to get the same meals, even if their accounts are delinquent. But many families in the district are still falling way behind on their payments.
That’s why Dr. Munsen has started a GoFundMe account to help families who are struggling to pay for school lunches. He says he hopes the fund will help eliminate this stress for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
But while the fund has been successful here, many school districts all over the country still engage in “lunch shaming,” with some schools not allowing students to eat at all if they cannot pay.