The Massachusetts No Student Hungry Coalition, led by the Mass Law Reform Institute and Project Bread, was formed in April of 2018 to address school meal debt and meal shaming practices in Massachusetts Public Schools. The Coalition addresses school meal debt and meal shaming practices in Massachusetts public schools - including state-wide and local advocacy to:
2019 School Meal Debt Legislation: Go to TAKE ACTION to learn about Senate Bill 256 and House Bill 585, An Act to Promote School Meals pending before the Joint Committee on Education.
Boston Globe 6/13/19: Students are being shamed and punished over lunch dept, and it may take legislation to stop it
For more information, contact
After the children queue up for food and make their selection, they carry their tray to the cashier and key-punch their student meal number or have the cashier look it up by name. The cafeteria cashier pulls up each student’s account. If the child has no cash on hand, or a negative balance beyond the allowable charge amount, the cashier makes the letter “C” with her hand. This is supposed to be a silent signal to the food line serving staff. One of the food line workers then stops what she’s doing, takes two slices of bread and a slice of cheese, puts it on a plate and comes over to the child waiting to check out. She swaps out the hot meal plate for the cold cheese sandwich. We have to throw the hot meal away because it was already served to the child. Some of the kids are upset, they don’t understand why. Some kids even cry. Of course, all the children in the line see that the child ahead was handed a cheese sandwich. It’s no secret.”
- Former Cafeteria work fall of 2017, Northbridge Middle School
Website created by Mario Barrera, Website's Project Assistant at MLRI