First-grader says school lunch lady denied him lunch

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SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- The only thing 7-year-old Xavier loves more than his math homework are his fruits and vegetables. But Xavier's parents say they're concerned because on Oct. 20, the first-grader was denied school lunch at Cascade View Elementary.

“It was a sack lunch. It was in a bag, she was passing it around to everybody. The lunch lady said, ‘Guess what, you can’t have a lunch.’ She said that.  She said I can't have a lunch,” Xavier said.

Xavier is on the free lunch program.  But instead of getting a meal, Xavier was sent home with a grumbling tummy and a slip saying he had a negative lunch balance, Xavier's dad, Eric, told KCPQ.

“My question was never answered as to why he was denied.  I was very mad.  I couldn't believe it happened.  It happened to me as a child and I could still feel that hurt and I can only imagine what he went through,” Eric said.

The Snohomish County School District said they are investigating. The school spokesperson says whenever a student’s account is negative $20 or more, the child gets a cheese sandwich and unlimited fruits and veggies from the salad bar, along with a drink.

Eric said this does not apply to his son.

“We get funds from the state, food stamp wise, which means his balance should be covered,” Eric said.

Eric said he's angry over how the school handled the situation and he's concerned over how it's affected Xavier. He is now considering removing his children from the school.

31 comments

  • Gina

    Omg this needs to change this is not just happening in elementary, as a mater of fact this just happened to my daughter in high school last week there was actually money in the account and I had deposited twice and they denied her lunch because their system said there was no money. My daughter plays heavy sports after school so she needs to eat otherwise she’ll pass out from all the calories she burns. I toldthe nutrition office that I thought it was against the law to deny a child food at school and she said if there was no money they could that. how is this possible? Who do I contact for this besides the school?

    • David Wise

      Gina – I’d be mad, too, if I met my responsibilities and some school administrator screwed up. I might start having her pack a lunch just in case. But this dad doesn’t even claim he tried to pay for his kid’s school lunches. We don’t know how long this has been going on. Yes, they should have given him an apple and sent him home with yet another note. But it has to end somewhere. Bet ya $10 his dad didn’t sacrifice his cigarettes that day.

      • Marc

        David – I’m not sure if you read the article and fully comprehended it or if you are just plain ignorant. The artcile states that the boy is on a free lunch program. What “note” would they send the father? Educate yourself please.

  • Hanna

    Oh! Please people feed your own kids. This is not the states responsibility. Don’t have kids if you can’t afford them.

    • Amber

      Hanna people lose their jobs, times get tough. The children shouldn’t have to suffer because one has no money. Also when families receive food stamps it doesn’t mean that they are not working it just means that they need help with food. One thing I have learned in life is that you shouldn’t be quick to judge someone’s status because you never know you might end up needing the States help one day and you will be glad that it is available for you.

      • Really?

        Amber, before we subsidized programs, the community would support people in need. Now we have people who do not fit the economic models where they live, and use tax dollars that I would rather use for other purposes. Church and neighbors. That is where the help should come from.

  • Jewels

    Seriously you are a leach and you are mad that your child was denied lunch. i get it sucks for the kids, but try paying your own bills and not living off welfare and food stamps and your kid wont ever feel the ’embarrassment’ of being denied a ‘free lunch’. Maybe a little embarrassment will motivate you and him to provide for yourselves in the future! PLEASE remove your kid from the school! The ability in this country to suck the system dry disgusts me!

    • Marc Villa

      I can’t believe you just posted that. One cannot be that evil and selfish. As a tax paying American, and probably an individual who makes more than you will ever make, it sickens me to see people, regardless of socieoeconomic status, look down on other people for their misfortunes. You better hope that you NEVER need government assistance.

    • Bonny

      You’re an ignorant coward. You have no idea what they’re going through. They may even be working and it may not be enough. Keep your negativity to yourself. I hope you don’t have any children and of u do. They will be ashamed of you and your ignorance one day. Wait and see

    • Rachael

      Whoever the fuck this is your a bitch and your lame comments sicken me god forbid you have children and something like that happens to u as a parent then u might feel a little less cold hearted.

      • Really?

        Wow. Completely off the charts. You are upset, okay, but you don’-t have the right to be so vile.
        This is just a forum for.discussion, okay?

    • Paul

      NO, the “school” should not be responsible for that. The parents should be responsible for feeding their children. However, taking the article on face value, if the child was on a ‘free lunch’ program, then the school should have given the kid something to eat. You feed the kid, but then go after the parent if there is an issue with the child’s eligibility for the program. You don’t do that to the kid.

  • Rattoo

    Sounds like the Kid’s father is a scumbag welfare bum. Get your lazy ass to work, sir. Or give your kid lunch to bring to school. The kid should probably be taken from this unfit parent.

  • Rich Lee

    My wife used to work at a local elementary school, and every once in a while a student could not afford lunch or the parents had not payed up-front for their lunch, but they never made any kind of deal over it, especially in front of the child and their classmates, that’s just wrong! They would contact the parents and straighten it out. They also had a free lunch program, if the family qualified, lunch was free, all year, no one ever went hungry! They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Really?

    Sounds like a lot of bull.
    Hanna is right. People FEED your kids. Move to a city where YOU can earn a decent living.
    In the old days, a father might have to send his child to school hungry. Not great, but nobody suffers damage for one missed meal.
    I don’t even believe the father is mature enough to explain to his kid that life has bumps…move on.

  • silly2

    Hey Eric, IT’S YOUR JOB TO MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS ARE FED!!!!! You think he felt bad for being denied lunch? How is he going to feel when he realizes the people that are supposed to provide for him are living off the system? You look able to get & keep a job. Why are you on welfare?!?!?

  • Steph

    I’m all for giving lunch to those in need. But I work In a school and over 70% of our kids are on “free lunch”. Falling on hard times is one thing but stop having more kids during these “hard times “. Oh and what are they doing to get off govt assistance?? They drop their kid off in their pajamas and after school pick them up still in pajamas. These kids go the whole 7 years on free lunch. Take responsibility parents. No one forced you to have kids.

  • P.J

    As I’ve gone through all the comments I see from both sides if in fact what’s given to us in this story is 100% true . If the child has no lunch sure no kid shall go hungry . I just hope the father isn’t trying to pull a fast one and expect a pay out or that free jackpot American dream . But on the other note one missed meal isn’t a big deal but if the childs only main meal is lunch at school why isn’t the child eating at home ? I remember school lunches paid or free I would rather eat at home and skip school food period . But rule of thumb NO CHILD SHOULD GO HUNGRY EVER !

  • Beth

    If the government tells parents their kids can have free lunch, don’t blame the father for expecting his son to be fed by the school. He didn’t demand that the program be set up. He is simply participating in something that officials, elected by people, have put in place. If you have a problem with the free lunch program, don’t take it up with this dad, take it up with your elected representatives. I’m not a fan of social programs that create a dependence rather than giving people the tools to improve their situation. However, we live in a wealthy society and I think we can afford to make sure all kids have enough to eat. Kids shouldn’t be punished for their parents poor choices & sometimes people do go through hard times through no fault of their own. Whether or not the school lunch program is the way to do that is not an issue to debate with this poor kid.

  • Ginger

    Whenever I see a story like this I try to remember not to read the comments. There are always a few people that can’t see past their own noses and it always makes me angry. There is nothing but the grace of God that separates the “us” from the “them” and we become one of “them.” We all need to be reminded of that fact. This news story isn’t about the boy’s dad. If the boy qualifies for free lunches this is a clerical error on the school’s part. Attacking his dad is pointless. It’s about giving the little boy something to eat. Even if the account is delinquent…how much food does the school throw in the trash every day? It would not impact the school at all to let him eat from the salad bar…I doubt the dad is making a killing by receiving free lunches for his son. The comments on here are sadder than the actual story.

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