Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Salt Lake City School District sets new policy after outcry over dumped lunches

By Benjamin Wood, Deseret News

Published: Fri, Feb. 7 6:57 p.m. MST

 Granite School District chef Jeff Gratton serves students lunch at Woodrow Wilson Elementary.

Granite School District chef Jeff Gratton serves students lunch at Woodrow Wilson Elementary.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News Archives)

SALT LAKE CITY — Responding to backlash after Uintah Elementary School students had their lunches taken away and thrown into the garbage, district officials have enacted a policy mandating full meals for all students independent of account balances.

"The district and the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education believe children should always receive a full meal and that discussions regarding account balances should happen between adults, without involving children," states an official release on the district's website.

The policy states that school kitchen managers file a balance report at the end of each day, notify parents when a student's balance drops below $10, and work with the school administration if a negative balance becomes excessive. The policy also states that students are not to be asked for meal payments or asked to remind their parents about balances.

"The district and the board of education are continuing to review and investigate the child nutrition program to ensure strict adherence to these procedures and to determine what other changes may be necessary to fulfill their commitment to the children, parents and city," the statement reads.

Last week, several students at Uintah Elementary were stopped from eating their lunches and told that they had negative balances. The students were given a piece of fruit and milk, but because their lunches had already been served, they could not be given to other students and were instead thrown in the garbage.

Upset parents flooded the school district with calls, including some who reportedly threatened school officials. Last Friday, district spokesman Jason Olsen confirmed that two employees had been placed on leave while the incident is under investigation.

Email:, Twitter: bjaminwood

1. gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ,
Feb. 7, 2014

Super! They came to their senses and are implementing good, common sense and thinking about the kids for once. Good job.

2. desert
Potsdam, 00,
Feb. 7, 2014

Now you see, it works. Cheers to that and to Texas.

(S.t. a public outcry is not so bad after all)
(Of course thanks to DN reporting)

3. Yorkshire
City, Ut,
Feb. 8, 2014

Love it!

The light gets shined on stupid, wrong and bad--and in a short amount of time, gets turned into smart, correct and good.

Oh, that everything wrong in the world could get fixed this fast and easy.

4. Joemamma
W Jordan, UT,
Feb. 8, 2014

We probably just created another entitlement.
And we wonder why the new generations grow up believing they're entitled to everything.
I'm sure when the parents decide to show up or answer the school calls to pay their bill the child will have already graduated.
I hope the state decides to go into parent's bank accounts and take the money if the shameless parents refuse to pay since their kids get fed anyways.

5. Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT,
Feb. 8, 2014

And now we will have a different problem entirely. Some parents - not many - will, knowing that their kids will be fed, no matter what, simply not send in any money for lunches. They will try to game the system.

But I believe that the good people of the district, if allowed, can donate to a fund to feed the children, and make the school less dependent on the government for this money.