San Antonio, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — The mother of a San Antonio high school student said she was shocked to learn that her 14-year old daughter wasn’t able to eat all day because she didn’t have 70 more cents for lunch – and the cafeteria threw her meal away.
A parent of a Stevens High School student – who asked not to be identified — told WOAI San Antonio that her daughter was in line to pay for lunch when she found she only had $1.05 instead of the full $1.75 required to eat the tray of food.
“My daughter didn’t get to eat food, and they threw it in the trash over 70 cents,” she told News 4. “There was no backup plan, she came home starving.”
The unidentified mother said that her daughter’s lunch account typically transfers money from her checking account automatically when empty, but that in this case there was a one-day delay in the money transfer.
Spokesman for the Northside Independent School District Pascual Gonzalez said that policy for the high school lunches forbids the sale. “The policy says that there is no charge account that’s built in — either you have the money to pay for your food, or you’re not going to eat,”
As far as the meal being thrown away, expressed his regrets but stated that this was also due to school policy. “It sounds terrible, I totally get that. But the law states that we cannot take that same food and put it back in the for sale line.”
However, the school district reported that the reason for the strict policy is that unpaid lunch money charges end up getting passed from the township to taxpayers. Last year, Northside ISD reported that over $27,000 of unpaid lunch charges were pushed back on taxpayers.