A 14-year-old San Antonio high school student reportedly went an entire day without eating because she was short seventy cents in her lunch money account.
The mother reported to News4 that her daughter was in line getting ready to pay for her lunch, but only had $1.05 in her account. The total was $1.75. Rather than giving her the lunch, the school said she couldn’t have it, and threw the food away.
The girl’s mother was quoted as saying, "My daughter didn't get to eat food, and they threw it in the trash over 70 cents.”
School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez had this to say: "The policy says that there is no charge account that's built in, either have the money to pay for your food or you're not going to eat. "
Typically when a student’s lunch account is empty, money is automatically transferred from a checking account. In this case, there was a one-day delay. Gonzalez added that the district’s policies say that the school has to throw the food away.
"I know it sounds terrible... but the law states we cannot take that same food and put it back in the for sale line. "
The reason for this strict policy? According to Gonzales, if parents don’t pay lunch charges, the taxpayers foot the bill. Gonzales says last year the district's unpaid food charges totaled almost $27,000.