Some people are just cruel to the core— a boy from Ohio had the “worst birthday ever” after his school lunch was taken away because of an unpaid balance on his account.
Jefferson Sharpnack was denied a proper birthday lunch at school because of an unpaid debt of $9.
Unfortunately, of all the other days for him to be denied a delicious lunch after a long morning of classes, it was on his birthday?!
The lunch staff could’ve made an exception for the boy’s special day.
School lunch debt is a major focus for parents who’ve got their kids enrolled in school lunch programs.
And many of these children rely on such programs to get nutritious meals.
Some parents have even been threatened to having their children taken away over unpaid lunch debts.
Just recently, parents in one Pennsylvania school district were even told that their children would be placed in foster care if their lunch debts weren’t paid.
And when one CEO offered to pay off the lunch debts of children in his town, his offer was turned down.
This issue has been growing across the nation as more stories like these come out.
For some students who have an outstanding lunch debt on their accounts, their school district denies them a regular lunch, and Instead, offers a lower quality substitute to these kids.
That’s exactly what happened to one 9-year-old boy at the Green Primary School in Uniontown, Ohio.
On his birthday, Jefferson Sharpnack ordered his desired cheesy breadsticks and sauce from his school cafeteria. But as he was about to check out, the staff switched the boy’s delicious lunch.
Jefferson went home to tell his grandma, Diane Bailey, about his “worst birthday ever.” He was denied a lunch tray that had cheesy breadsticks because he had an unpaid balance of $9.
Instead, he received the usual stale cheese sandwich meal.
Bailey was horrified to learn about her grandson’s day at school.
In Bailey’s mind, the child didn’t owe the school anything—she did. And as the boy’s guardian, she was the one in charge of his care, so it’s on her that he has a debt; they shouldn’t have punished the kid, especially not on his birthday.
The boy’s story was picked up by the media, and this urged school officials to re-evaluate their policies on unpaid lunch debts.
After being criticized for the ordeal towards kids who couldn’t afford lunch fee, the school’s superintendent later informed parents that students will now be receiving standard lunch regardless of any outstanding balances.
Bailey was delighted by the new policy in the school. She hopes the school can continue to work on providing better food to their students for cheap or for free.