A cheesy solution for lunch account deadbeats

June 18, 2007
In one California district, when parents fall behind on lunch payments, students' lunch choice is limited to a cheese sandwich.

When too many parents fell behind on paying for school lunches, the Chula Vista (Calif.) Elementary School District decided to get tough—on the children. Students with deadbeat parents were given only one lunch choice: a cheese sandwich. Cheese sandwiches and other "alternate meals" have been added to school menus across the country as they try to reduce parents' lunch debts. The strategy worked in Chula Vista: Lunch debts fell from about $300,000 in 2004 to $67,000 in 2006. But some parents say success came at too high a cost. The cheese sandwich, they say, has become a badge of shame for the children, who get teased about it by their classmates.

Click here to read The Los Angeles Times article.

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