School Cafeteria Worker Refuses to Give Lunch to Hungry Age 12 Boy Short 50 Cents


Student lunch debt is a widespread problem, and there are hundreds of thousands of students even on free and reduced lunch programs. But even those who aren’t go into debt when their parents forget to load their account with money or things get tight financially.

That debt system is in place for those very reasons — things happen, parents are forgetful, maybe payday is next week.

The lunch staff knows about this system, obviously, so that they can monitor accounts and let children know to remind their parents — or send out emails, which is probably much more effective — that they need to get more money in the account.

The general rule of thumb is that no child will be denied a lunch. Food is important for growing brains and effective learning; there’s no reason to deny any student a lunch ever, right?

Well, apparently that’s exactly what happened at James Bowie Middle School in Texas recently.

GOP Senator Gets Big Win After Months-Long Stand-Off with Schumer

A boy named Matthew Williams, 12, already owed 50 cents on his lunch account and was attempting to buy a drink and some chips that day.

The lunch lady on duty told him “I’m sorry, you don’t have any more money.” Matthew asked if he could get anything else and she said, “no, I’m sorry.”

And so because of that 50 cent debt, Matthew wasn’t allowed to get anything for lunch. His mom, Kara Ann Williams, was appalled.

It isn’t as if this is the only lunch debt the school has ever encountered.

According to CBS7, both students and faculty have had negative accounts — much more than 50 cents, too.

There’s even an established maximum for the school: $18.75 at the middle school, and $17.50 for the elementary school. So if these exist, it doesn’t seem to make much sense that one student would be denied a meal.

“Sometimes my friends are negative and they still get food and everything,” Matthew said. Kara commented to the news that, “Mr. Shillingberg today, he owed money on his account.”

Daughters of the American Revolution Causes Revolt by Allowing Transgender Members

Since the incident, the principal of the school has reached out to Kara, apologizing and saying he will do his best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

He told Matthew, “If that happens again or anything like that, just come and get me.”

At least the principal is willing to take action for his students.

Hopefully things get straightened out and while it may not happen again for a while at this particular school, we can only hope that other schools don’t make the same mistake.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.