No lunch shaming

The Northgate School Board is amending the district’s food service policy to make sure that children are not subjected to “lunch shaming” because their parents have not kept up with payments to their school lunch accounts.

The issue has received national attention because some schools choose to deny students lunches, or provide them with a clearly identifiable alternate meal, when their lunch accounts are in arrears.

School board member Dr. Shannon Smithey said at Monday’s board meeting that the new policy at Northgate will be for the district to address the lack of funds through collection efforts focused on the parents. Parents will be able to make payments to their children’s accounts on-line next year, Smithey said, and the district will work with families who may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.