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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hungry Schoolchildren Are Refused Lunch; Made To Throw It Out Instead

Hungry Schoolchildren Are Refused Lunch; Made To Throw It Out Instead

They say “you are what you eat.” But if what you are is behind on your lunch payments, what you eat is nothing — at least if you’re a child at the Coehlo Middle School in Attleboro, MA.

At least 25 students this week were told that if they had a negative balance — even five cents — on their prepaid lunch cards, they not only would not get any lunch, but would have to dump out the food they would have eaten.

The school attributes the decision to Whitson’s Culinary Group, which runs the cafeteria and employs the contracted workers. Principal Andrew Boles apologized for the incident, saying, “My expectation is that every child, every adult, every parent, every student, every teacher is respected in this building, and that didn’t happen…because of Whitson’s.”

However, CNN could find no evidence of this policy ever being implemented in the 80 New England schools supplied by Whitson’s, and the company denies such a policy even exists. “Employees had taken it upon themselves to institute this change; it was not condoned or approved,” insisted Whitson’s spokesperson Holly Von Seggern. “We had absolutely no idea.”

“I told him this is bullying, neglect, child abuse. You can’t do that to children,” said Jo-An Blanchard, a parent whose son was among those children who went hungry. “He said ‘because I was a dollar short they made me throw my lunch away and I couldn’t eat.'”

Parents who owe lunch money are supposed to be given a three-day “grace period” and a written warning, but Blanchard said this didn’t happen. According to CNN, “kids with a negative balance usually receive ‘a cheese sandwich, a fruit and vegetable, and milk.’ Then the company contacts the parents about payment.”

Unfortunately for these middle-school kids whose parents were either poor or absent-minded, it was decided that throwing away their food was preferable to notifying parents or feeding hungry children, all for the sake of a nickel.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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56 responses to “Hungry Schoolchildren Are Refused Lunch; Made To Throw It Out Instead”

  1. republiCONsanddemsarebothsuck says:

    Too bad. Now lets talk about all of those American workers that have been thrown out of THEIR jobs.

    • lostintheswamp says:

      really?? what does feeding a child – or not feeding a child in this case – have to do with job losses … two separate problems …. starving a child is not going to get anyone a job … you sound bitter and disillusioned with life, but accepting child abuse as ‘too bad’ is not going to make you feel any better … unless you are a complete misanthrope, which sounds possible …

      • republiCONsanddemsarebothsuck says:

        Really? You are easily duped. And stupid.

      • Michael Kollmorgen says:

        Ahhh, but not having a job has EVERYTHING to do with it.

        IF parents aren’t working, how are they going to pay for their kids lunch? And, since the schools tax base is eroded due to lost taxes, you know lost values of homes, that would have been paid, that’s why they went to private contractors, hoping to save some money.

        The Trickle Down Effect is working perfectly!

    • Ford Truck says:

      ……thrown out of THEIR jobs TO SEND THE WORK TO CHINA. Thanks Mitt Romney!

  2. idamag says:

    A prime example of what happens with privatizing.

    • Lawless4U says:

      I agree but this goes even further. Profit wasn’t the only motivation here, it seems spite and causing embarassment played a part as well. If these kids had food on their trays and were forced to throw it away instead of being allowed to eat it because of being in arrears someone needs to be fired. In fact, every single person who was working in that caffeteria on that day and allowed this to happen should be dismissed.

  3. Tom_P says:


  4. charleo1 says:

    It’s clearly the climate of resentment, cranked up by the Right Wing losers.
    Like Ayn Rand worshipper, Paul Ryan, or Rand Paul. Probably named after
    the stingy, Godless bitch. And, the saddest part, is this was probably instigated
    by the poor as church rats employees, that work for the for profit outfit contracted
    to handle lunch for the school system. What would justice look like for the cretins
    that thought denying food to a hungry child, was ever the right thing to do?

  5. The children are not responsible for their account balances. At a minimum these children should have been allowed to consume the food but a letter given to them to bring home to the responsible parties indicating there was a problem with the account balance.
    Children do not understand these things nor should they. To make them dump the food in front of their classmates is a terrible thing to do.
    FIRE the food service program immediately. No hesitation just fire them.

    • idamag says:

      I remember when I was in school, there was a family that could not afford lunches and it is not the childrens’ faults. They were allowed to help in the lunch room and pull weeds to pay for their lunches.

  6. David Turrentine says:

    Proof that private industry really cannot do anything as well as the government.

    • longtail says:

      Not completely true but the instances where privatization has not been good for the public happen all the time.

  7. okole kine says:

    To those who don’t understand this insensitive incident, it would be instructional to read an essay by Bob Altemeyer called “The Authoritarians”

  8. This reminds me of the legislation that is being considered in Tennessee, designed to deny food stamps to children if they don’t maintain a high academic standard. The same people that deny a child with a negative pre-paid lunch card a meal are the same ones that oppose abortion, and even birth control. It is almost as if they needed more children, so that we could abuse them after they are born.

    • Barbara Morgan says:

      Dominick found out that they won’t be denying them food stamps but will cut so much money from the Welfare check that child gets each month, which is going to hurt the child and his family a lot. The bill came from a man that should be certified as crazy and dangerous to people and should be locked up in the looney bin and the key threw away. Every year since Republicans have taken control of our state government this Canfield has come up with some nutty idea or some one like the Republican think tank has offered the crazy bill for him to introduce and he does.

    • Allan Richardson says:

      Or maybe a Swiftian plot to set the stage to BUY the “excess” children from the poor parents as food to be served in some high priced restaurants for the wealthy elite.

      • sigrid28 says:

        Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” published xxxx years ago, addressed inequality in a society, that ours, puts women and their children last.

    • That has always been the Republicans un-spoken motto – “Save the fetus and ignore the needs of the child.”

      • Michael Kollmorgen says:

        Yea, this is what I find totally disgusting about the Republican Agenda.

        They hate Abortion or planned parenthood. But, won’t do a dam thing to support the baby AFTER its born.

        But, don’t fret, these Republicans will have use for these children.

        I guess their plan is to flood the market with more low wage, uneducated slave labor for the elite’s needed workforce. There are “other” uses too, such as in early age for the priests, boy scout troupe leaders, religious youth group leaders and advisers.

        Later years they can be used as military robotons, very similar to the Daggers from the Seaquest TV Series………..

        And, after they’re screwed as kids, then shot up as adults in their wars, after they can’t be “used” anymore, they become expendable, left to sit on park benches feeding pigeons.

        But I forgot, “their” god is going to come down from on high and take care of them.

  9. Pam Buzbee says:

    start proceedings to terminatee the contract with the food services i’m sure the employees will be blamed by their bosses! of course there is no evidence of this rule! right! even if i worked for them i wouldn’t now because i would have fed the kids and given the job the finger!

  10. so did these cruel-heartless employees lose their jobs–or just get a slap on the wrist-if that

  11. Pam Buzbee says:

    charleo1 the terrible thing about the ayn rand enthusiasts is that they do not even realize the book was a satire

    • charleo1 says:

      I’ve always taken an interest in such things. But, I had not heard of Ayn Rand.
      But, after the election of Obama, I started noticing everything coming from a
      certain area of the Right Wing, was this kind of veiled threat. Like, soon all the
      rich people, that create all the jobs, are just going to take all their money, and
      start their own Country. And I started to hear references to Atlas Shrugged.
      By the heroine of the T-Party, Ayn Rand. I though Ann Coulter was about as
      obnoxious a woman as I’d ever heard. That is, until I started to become more
      acquainted with musings of this obviously miserable, cauldron of anti-humanity.
      Then, I heard Paul Ryan, the real life, epitome, of the corporate culture on
      meth. And another darling of the, by now, as charming as a rattle snake, T-Party.
      Say, to his admiring skinflints, how reading Ayn Rand, and Atlas Shrugged, as a
      young boy, had inspired him to go into public service. And I thought, well, isn’t
      that sweet?

  12. lana ward says:

    If this is true it is terrible, but then with bangs Obama and her forced lunch plan, the kids are all hungry anyway having to eat carrots and lettuce

    • Allan Richardson says:

      If you think the First Lady’s emphasis on healthy eating is a mandatory thing, you are deliberately misinformed. Besides, if kids get anything at all to eat, getting carrots and lettuce is healthier than getting greasy, high calorie foods.

      I seem to remember you were the one discussing the economy with the graph of economic performance over the last hundred years turned upside down. Stay away from facts, my friend, that guy named REALITY has a well known liberal bias.

    • What an obnoxious and absolutely thoughtless statement. Eating healthy is starving? What, let’s have pizza and chips, corn dogs and macaroni at school.

      • lana ward says:

        Don’t you listen to the news, idiot? Kids all over the country are complaining that they are hungry with just “bangs healthy meals” Those two dictators can’t keep their noses out of anything!!

        • Got links to those news stories? Or will you take the easy route and just say “look it up”?

          • lana ward says:

            Just type in “Michele Obama starving our kids”–it will take you there

          • Dana Es says:

            Try typing in “healthy lunches for school children” instead of a obviously slanted statement geared to take you to the kind of garbage you want.

          • says:

            Kids all over the nation say Bangs’ lunch program is starving them. Yet you see pictures of her with her HUGE yap open taking a bite of a hamburger!! And I mean HUGE yap, wow!!!

        • ralphkr says:

          They are complaining because they are no longer getting 2,000 calories of junk for lunch (no burgers, cookies, cake, etc.) and are being served a sensible meal with healthy food (we all know that no red-blooded American will eat healthy food) so the spoiled brats are throwing away most of their lunch and sneaking candy bars. Reminds me of many years ago when someone had the idea of distributing some of the millions of pounds of cheese the Feds had stored. Unfortunately, the poor people hated the cheese because it was good Wisconsin cheese. The Feds had to process the cheese and make it into the tasteless yellow stuff (American Cheese) that the poor were used to having.

          • lana ward says:

            Those two dictators need to keep their communist noses out of our lives. To bad all parents can’t homeschool their kids, close all of those communist institutions down. Our kids can’t even read when they graduate. Let the kids eat!! They always have until the dictator came along

          • Michael Kollmorgen says:

            This, at least, I agree with you on; Home School their kids. Make em pay for it totally out of their own pockets.

            Then, I won’t have to support these school systems with my real estate tax dollars.

          • lana ward says:

            Home schooled kids learn more and they’re not exposed to vulgarity and violence. And they can eat what they want

          • Michael Kollmorgen says:

            I totally agree with your last comment.

            However, I have noticed some of these kids have an extremely hard time adapting to social setting outside of the home.

            I know one particular family such as I mention. The kids are grown up adults now, bright as greased lightening, but they are somewhat socially awkward. The boy/man is a over the road trucker (so much for the education). I don’t know what the girl/woman does.

          • lana ward says:

            I agree with you on that :))

          • lana ward says:

            My taxes go to schools too but it really pisses me off they go towards murdering unborn babies.!! That is infringing on my core beliefs

          • Michael Kollmorgen says:

            Hah, I remember that Cheese. It was the best cheese I ever ate:) By the way, they also had canned meat – fantastic stuff when made into a Stew. They also had Peanut Butter and Real Butter too.

            The Feds stopped subsidizing these producers and stopped stocking the stuff.

          • ralphkr says:

            I remember that my mother had a few pounds of the original cheese because the Feds got tired of spending all that money to ruin it and decided to go to all the Senior Centers in the US and beg them to take the good cheese off their hands.

          • Dana Es says:

            Loved that cheese! Land O Lakes cheese is the closest we’ve found to it that’s available in stores.

        • Dana Es says:

          Apparently YOU don’t listen to the news or you’d know about the elementary school classes that have gone completely vegetarian and the kids are loving it. Or about the other schools where students are participating in composing the healthy menus. The main complaints have come from spoiled teenagers who aren’t willing to make what they consider any kind of sacrifice or whose parents hate the the President and his wife and encourage their children to find fault with anything connected to them and, sadly, some cafeteria workers who don’t actually want to cook or try anything new after years of thawing out frozen food and opening cans.

          • says:

            Apparently you don’t listen to the news . The kids hate it and are starving. It doesn’t fill them up. And just WHY is it any business of hers what our kids eat?? Bit by bit, these communists are taking complete control of EVERYTHING in this country. They need to keep their plastic noses and HUGE yaps out of our business and run the country. O wait, they have no idea how to do that!!!

  13. tobyspeeks says:

    I don’t believe CNN for a minute and Holly Von Seggern even less. Just because it’s not a written policy doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Greed is a very powerful mental illness. The greedy people at Whitson’s Culinary Group don’t see hungry children, all they do see is less cash flowing into their pockets.

  14. Shaw Eberhardt says:

    Congrats. served by the lowest bidder.

  15. leadvillexp says:

    What has happened to our country? We can feed people in Asia or the Middle East but not in our own country. It is as absurd as a student pointing his finger at another and going bang. He gets disaplined for having a gun. The people in charge have gone nuts.
    We need big changes.

  16. When did we lose the title of “Greatest Country” in the world? Rich get richer, poor get poorer, and middle gets squeezed downware. This is the way of the monied who dominate all things in our country. It is not of, by and for the people as it should be. God help us.

    • Michael Kollmorgen says:


      For the People, actually never meant a dam thing. It is all illusion, always was and probably will always be. This country was not designed for the people. It was originally set up as a business partnership between Britain and the colonies.

      Even after the Revolution, the people who wrote the Constitution, were the leaders of it, were mostly all huge landowners or business leaders who saw profit in breaking away from Britain. They ever did it for humanitarian causes.

      Yes, they put in fancy words like Liberty, Justice, Freedom in the Constitution. But, these were words to appease the masses and recruit fighters. This country never lived up to its true meaning of what the Constitution stood for.

      And, recently, the Supreme Court made everything even worse by giving Corporations “human” rights. I mean, this alone can’t be “in your face” anymore than it could possibly be. This really means what this country stands for. But, it took 300 years to finally have the balls to state it in black n white and for the rest of us to accept it.

      “We The People” never had a chance.

  17. joelferguson says:

    I’m a libertarian conservative who believes gov’t welfare has little place in society, with one exception. A society should take responsibility for the children it produces. The idea that anyone would wilfully allow a child to go hungry when within physical proximity is appauling. I’m in tears thinking about it.

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