Parents in Utah say they're outraged after up to 40 elementary school students at a Salt Lake City school had their school lunches thrown out because of outstanding balances on their account. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the move came Tuesday after the Salt Lake City District realized a lot of students in Uintah Elementary owed money for lunches. The school tried to contact the indebted parents by phone Monday and Tuesday before resorting to confiscating lunches, a district spokesperson said. "If students were humiliated and upset, that's very unfortunate and not what we wanted," he added.
Cafeteria workers weren't able to see who was in debt until after the lunches had already been handed out, forcing them to take back the food from students. The lunches then had to be thrown out, because they couldn't be served to anyone else. The students were given fruit and milk in place of their discarded meal. "It's despicable," said one parent. "These are young children that shouldn't be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.