You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade now to a modern browser in order to benefit of all our site's features: Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer. [Close]

The Official Blog of Fox News Channel

Students Could Be Forced to Go Hungry Because of New NJ School Policy

According to a new policy in the Willingboro, NJ school district, students who don’t have enough money to pay for lunch must go hungry, and their meals are tossed in the trash!

DEBATE: Should Schools Be Sending ‘Fat Letters’ to Parents?

One parent reacted, “The child will go hungry in a day of school and suffer the social embarrassment of having their food thrown in the trash because there’s no money in their account.”

Mom Charged With Murder for Feeding Infant Drug-Laced Breast Milk

According to the superintendent, the new policy is in place to hold parents accountable. Last year, the district was billed $50,000 because parents abused its free and reduced meal program.

'Doctors Gave Her Zero Chance': Lawmaker Gives Birth to Miracle Baby

Below is more on the story from the local Fox affiliate.


As kids head back to school, parents are once again faced with the choice: do they let their children buy lunch or do they brown-bag it? But a new lunchtime policy in one local school district has some parents furious.

Most parents in Willingboro should have gotten a letter from the school district in the mail today. It talks about a new lunch program. The new lunch program states that if kids, not on the Free and Reduced Lunch program, don't have money to pay for their school lunch, they will go hungry for the day. This is the newest policy for the Willingboro, New Jersey school district.

"I don't think it's fair for the children to go all day without eating," says Rosa Berder, a mom. "That's like wasting food. If the kid already had the lunch, let the parent know instead of taking food from a kid."

Little Carlos Rios loves school lunches.

"Fish sticks, chicken nuggets," he says.

He can't imagine the day he doesn't get to eat it.

"What if they threw it out?" asks FOX 29's Leigh Scheps.

"I would be sad," Carlos replies.

"I am absolutely afraid that could happen to my kids," says another parent.

This mom didn't want us to show her face or reveal her name in fear of retaliation to her children. She tells FOX 29 that she always fills up her children's lunch account, but sometimes she isn't notified when it gets too low.

"I'm aggravated...a child would go hungry and suffer the social embarrassment of having food thrown in the trash because there's no money in the account," she says.

In a letter sent home to parents, the district says that if a student goes through the lunch line and doesn't have enough money to pay for it, the lunch staff is instructed to throw the meal away.

"Don't you think it's a waste of food to just throw it out?" Scheps asked.

"Well, we're hoping it doesn't happen," says Dr. Ronald Taylor, the Superintendent. "It's either all or nothing type of policy, when you have parents not taking advantage of the reduced lunch and taking away dollars for instruction we have to adopt a policy to enforce it."

Superintendent Ronald Taylor explains that the new policy is in place because parents abused the Free and Reduced Lunch program last year.

"Upwards of $50,0000 for students who had not applied for Free and Reduced Lunch who received free lunches," says Dr. Taylor. "Part of the reason we're doing this is to help hold parents accountable."

Taylor says that the district will warn parents when their account is down to five dollars, that's about three days before it's empty.

"We have guidance counselors and outreach personnel that would reach out well before this happened," says Dr. Taylor.

But this mom doesn't think it will solve anything.

"I am considering packing daily lunches," she says.

The superintendent wants parents to apply for the district's Free and Reduced Lunch Program. That way, children won't have their lunch tossed and go hungry. This policy is perfectly legal. It's up to the district's discretion.




Posted in: 
Leave a Comment0

Today's Front Page Stories

Don't want to keep checking back here for the latest from Fox News? That's cool. We'll come to you ...

Connect with Fox News


Stay connected with the most-trusted name in cable news through exclusive videos, blogs, polls, contests and behind-the-scene details.

Get More Fox!

Greta Is Wired! is the official blog of Greta Van Susteren. Get Greta’s breaking news alerts, pictures, videos, polls, and behind-the-scenes exclusives. Plus, speak out on open threads, as well as the live chat page. Connect to the GretaWire community ... and to Greta herself!

Fox News Presents: 'My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck'

Fox News Channel presents an exciting new feature series, My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. From the quirky to the inspirational, "My America" reveals who we are as a nation – driven, passionate and uniquely American. Watch the latest installment, an up-close look at the beloved Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!