Concerned Caldwell parents received startling emails and voice messages from school employees saying if their child’s pre-paid lunch account didn’t have money in it, he or she wouldn’t be fed.
“All the email said to me actually was kids would no longer be fed once there is no money on the account,” Katee Bake said.
The email reads, “…In order to receive lunch, there has to be money on their account. They will not be able to get a peanut butter sandwich for not having money on their account anymore. To ensure that your student doesn’t go without lunch, please make sure you send money for their lunch accounts.”
Another Wilson Elementary School parent told On Your Side she received a voicemail message from a food services employee, stating her son only had one day of pre-paid lunch left, and if she didn’t add money to his account he wouldn’t be given any food.
The Caldwell School District says this message sent to parents is a huge misunderstanding.
The district issued a statement saying, “…It has never been the practice of the Caldwell School District, nor is our intention in the future, to deny students meals. Students have been fed, even if they or their parents have accumulated a number of unpaid meal charges.”
They also say there may have been a misinterpretation by food service personnel of newly emphasized government rules and guidelines pertaining to unpaid lunch charges.
They plan to review lunch charge policies and communicate the policies clearly to parents in the near future.