Last week a Florida teen was refused lunch due to being 15 cent short. Kimberly Aiken, The mother of the University High School student told reporters, “She puts her food on the trey, gets to the front, gives her number to the cashier, and she says, “Well, you owe 15 cents” she said. ” My daughter said she didn’t have any money, so the cashier took her food.”
Aikens said the cafeteria worker threw the food away, causing her daughter to spend the first day of school without lunch.
“That’s the big thing, It’s eat breakfast, lunch so that they can make sure they’re doing good on there work,” she said, “But then you starve my child”?
Aiken said she signed up for the free and reduced cost lunch program but it had not taken effect yet. She said the 15 cent deficiency in her account must have been from last school year.
The news enraged many, but Rapper T.I took action. He spoke about the incident on his Instagram page stating, “This shit is despicable, this is the kind of shit that deters kids from coming to school. I’d like to take care of her school lunch for the year. I hate to hear this type of thing happening to our children. Petty ass, peon ass, poor excuse for a grown person”
However, his assistance may not be needed.
Kristen Clarke, who is head of the lawyer’s committee, which is a non-profit organization based in Washinton, D.C created a Gofundme page to help the teen.
Clarke also wrote a letter to the Volusia County Schools Superintendent James Russell and requested a meeting to ensure other treated arent being treated the same way.
“Schools should not shame children who are unable to afford meals,” she wrote, “Denying students meals because of financial need perpetuates food insecurity, increases hunger and negativity effects there productivity and learning environment.”
Roger Edgcomb, a spokesman for the Volusia County Schools, responded to questions asking if this is was standard procedure.
“The school is always willing to work with students and parents as needed,” he said. “The school will be contacting the family directly to help resolve the issue”