WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTNH) – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) has introduced a bipartisan bill that would prevent schools from discriminating or stigmatizing kids who don’t have enough money to pay for meals at school. The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act, would ban schools from singling out children-such as by requiring them to wear wristbands or hand stamps or do extra chores-because their parents have not paid their school meal bills.
“No school in America should ever resort to shaming a child in order to force a low-income parent to pay a bill. From throwing food away in front of a child, to forcing a child to accept a less desirable, alternative lunch, schools are taking outrageous and immoral actions against America’s most vulnerable children,” said DeLauro. “Rather than shaming a child, schools should work directly with parents to find common sense solutions, like payment plans, to address the underlying issues. The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act is a strong step forward in addressing this issue and Congress should immediately pass the legislation to stop this widespread practice.”
DeLauro says some schools require cafeteria workers to take steps to decrease school meal debt, in some cases she says schools even throw lunches away rather than extending credit for meals. The act also simplifies the process of applying for free or reduced rate lunches.