Bill Aims To Address Reduced-Lunch Fee Stigma In Schools

By Isabella Hulsizer
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 5:30pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 7:21pm

A bill making its way through the legislature aims to fix how Arizona schools can address unpaid fees in the lunchroom.

More than 560,000 kids are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. However, stigma around the programs may lead some of these students to opt out.

Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the association of Arizona food banks, says the bill would help alleviate embarrassment for students.

"What’s specifically prohibited is things like announcing the names of children who don’t have money to pay for lunch, stamping their hands or writing on them in some way, making children work for a meal or throwing their meal in the trash.''

The bill offers an alternative to the current methods, by requiring schools to offer an alternative meal and to work out payment plans for the families.

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