Good Samaritan Pays Off Kids' Lunch Balances
Dozens were behind, getting lesser school meals in Houston
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2014 6:14 PM CST

(Newser) – Hear about that story out of Utah about a school that literally took lunches away from kids because their families were behind on payments? So did Kenny Thompson of Houston, who was bothered enough to check with his local school to see whether anything similar was happening, reports Click2Houston. Turns out, more than 60 kids at Valley Oaks Elementary had delinquent accounts and were receiving lesser lunches—think cold cheese sandwiches instead of a full tray. He then donated $465 to bring all the accounts up to date. "Best money I ever spent," says Thompson.

Heartwarming, sure, but it's "of course not a long-term solution to the very real problem of unpaid school meal accounts," writes Bettina Elias Siegel at the Lunch Tray blog. Schools of all kinds are struggling with how to handle delinquent accounts, as improved meal standards drive costs up. Another factor cited by Siegel: the increased use of swipe cards by students. Kids tend to treat them like credit cards, maxing them out on non-essentials. Click for the full post, which includes links to forums on the subject.

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Feb 9, 2014 3:18 PM CST
Meanwhile, a boy was expelled from a school in the UK because he the lunches he brought from home were deemed not healthy enough for school administrators. You just can't win!
Feb 6, 2014 7:35 PM CST
Wonder how many parents will thank him...
Feb 6, 2014 4:38 PM CST
I commend Mr. Thompson for what he did but it will not solve the problem that is occurring at most schools around the county. These kids that are at the center of the problem are helpless to do any thing about it them selves. We all know that their parents either won't or are financially unable to do anything. So unless the rest of us and / or the local, state or federal government does something the kids will continue to suffer. I do not have much good to say about those adults that are living off the tax payers wallet. But the helpless children, we need to ensure have the best change to succeed. If only 5 percent of these kids make something of themselves it was worth the money spent. I like the idea of placing money on they account or a card of some sort. But there must be a restrictions on what the can buy with it. I have had lunch at school with my elementary age daughter many times and the extra junk that is available for the kids to purchase is absurd. .