You owe money to the school so we’re going to starve your kids until you pay us

That’s basically what the school officials at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City said.

Starve might be a little harsh but whatever!

Man those square pizzas used to be the business!!!

Man those square pizzas used to be the business!!!

Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.

“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.

Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”

Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.

As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.

But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.

The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.

Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead.

Olsen said school officials told the district that their staffers typically tell students about any balances as they go through the lunch line and send home notifications to parents each week.

The district attempted to contact parents with balances via phone Monday and Tuesday, Olsen said, but weren’t able to reach them all before the child-nutrition manager decided to take away the students’ lunches.

“Something’s not working, and that’s what the school and child-nutrition department are going to work on together,” Olsen said of the notifications.

He said there’s no plan to use the same tactic at other district schools.

“This can be easily prevented,” Olsen said. “We need to make sure proper notification goes out to the parents and they have time to put money in the accounts.”

But Olsen said he would not describe the tactic as a mistake.

“If students were humiliated and upset,” Olsen said, “that’s very unfortunate and not what we wanted to happen.”

However, after further investigation, Olsen released an updated statement that was also posted to the district’s Facebook page. It said: “This situation could have and should have been handled in a different manner. We apologize.”

The post adds: “We understand the feelings of upset parents and students who say this was an embarrassing and humiliating situation. We again apologize and commit to working with parents in rectifying this situation and to ensuring students are never treated in this manner again.”

Olsen said it’s standard in the district to give kids fruit and milk in lieu of lunch if they don’t have the money to pay for lunch.

He said it’s unclear how Uintah had been handling such situations before this week. Attempts to reach Uintah’s principal were unsuccessful.

Olsen said the district encourages parents to use its electronic system to pay for lunches and set up email notifications. He said the software for the system is new this year, though it’s not much different than the old one.

Lukes said she never received a notification that her daughter would have her lunch taken.

She said it was a difficult day for her daughter and other kids. She said her daughter told her one of the cafeteria workers cried at the sight. And her daughter’s best friend was so upset that she went home Tuesday night and made lunches for all the students who had theirs taken, she said.

“You would think in a public school system your child wouldn’t be turned away from lunch,” Lukes said, “especially when people usually settle their balances.”



Seriously, when I first read this article I instantly got a headache!

I wish you would do this to my child.

I understand that the parents owe money for the lunches. I get it I truly do!

But giving the kids their lunch THEN turning around and taking them away and THEN throwing them in the trash seems a tad bit ass backwards don’t you think?

now that I’ve calmed down I’m willing to bet that this is an on-going problem and this was a last ditch effort to get their money that backfired greatly!

And how is milk and fruit a good lunch? Around these parts if a kid doesn’t have lunch money I do believe they get a PB&J sandwich, fruit and milk you know something to hold them over for the rest of the day.

The school officials here failed on top of failed with this mess.

Now they are going to have parents at the school like this


Apparently it is Beth's Job to get on Slaus's nerves.

Facebook Comments





  1. DameloSuave says

    IWADW (I Wish a Django Would). I get that some kids may not be paid up or whatever, yet (like Bef said) to serve them lunch, then TAKE it away, and then THROW it in the trash? You’ve already spent that – you can’t get the lunch back – let the child eat! It’s embarrassing, humiliating, and if the money is an issue for the parents, that likely is the only good meal the child will get that day. Nawl, man, nawl.

  2. SY says

    When I saw this I thought about how I know I would have gone to jail yesterday for going up to that school and throwing away all they gadamn food… throw my baby food away, oh we fighthing in this bitch…

    • Beffa says

      I damn near hollered reading this comment

      the thought of throwing away all the food just made me bust out laughing for reasons unkown

  3. A Girl with Curlz says

    This just seems spiteful as hell to me. The child’s parents are in arrears so the lunch they were given wasn’t paid for yet you throw it away thus wasting good food…still not paid for. You’d rather see the food in the trash and a child go hungry and humiliated? What kind of sadistic bvllshyt is that?

  4. marvy says

    That Angry photo. lol. Where on Earth did you find it?

    And that School district is a disgrace to humiliate those kids like that. If their accounts are in arrears, then call the parents!

  5. imagination1919 says

    This is so frequen sad – this is an issue between the so called “grown-ups”… not the kids – these kids are not responsible for paying the balance on their accounts. if you can’t reach the parents, then keep trying! I know there is at least one EMERGENCY contact on file…. hell resort to printing & pinning a letter to the back of the shirt….

    I get that you can’t “re-serve” food, but to just throw it way??? really???

  6. Yaya says

    This made me tear up. You don’t deprive someone of food man, you just don’t. A child on top of that. I understand finances & responsibilities, I really do, but I don’t understand letting the kids just eat what they got and charging that to the bill too. This hurts my heart and very few things do that.

    • Chidiva says

      It made my eyes sweat a little too.What really takes me to the highest level of pisstivity is,this may have been the only meal some of these children would have that day.And then these douchecanoes throw away the food in front of the kids?Nawl,son,if I would have seen this I would go right to subway and bought a few 6ft subs and fed all of theses babies and gave them a few dollars so they could have lunch for the rest of the week.

      • Beffa says

        that is what made my head hurt throwing away the food right in front of the kids

        these babies did not deserve that

        to me it is a form of abuse. some heads need to roll at that school seriously

        • Chidiva says

          Beth,you are so right,this is a form of child abuse. I seriously have tears in my eyes thinking about these kids.

  7. JustSlaus says

    Butch I’d find a magic lamp and use AWL 3 wishes to wish a mfugr would….

    “when youu wish upon a star…..
    makes no difference where mufugz are…
    into yo face I’ll this car to come..killlk ypuuuuuu

  8. Hautie says

    What is the cost of a school lunch now? It was like .50 when I was in grade school… and a dollar through middle school. Which I paid daily with cash or change. My Daddy made it a point, to make sure I had my lunch money daily.

    Anywho… how to small children pay for lunch now. Do little kids get to carry money in grade school? Public school is so odd to me now with all the bizarre rules. But when I was small, either you paid with cash or you had a lunch voucher/punch ticket that your parents paid for monthly.

    So I am curious how can a child run up such a large balance… that ANYONE thought it acceptable behavior…. to snatch food out of their hands. Because they owed too much money.

    And I am sorry… but I am side eyeing the hell out of these parents too… who knew their children had no means to pay daily. Because they knew. You might forget a day here and there… but not weeks on end.

    • DB Ruberto says

      Last time I paid for a lunch was about 6 yrs ago, but it was about 1.70 or so… in my district you can use your CC on a website, but can also mail in checks, or have your kid bring in a check to school..

  9. samthor says

    oh the joys of capitalism…. punishing poor people for being poor. that will teach them to be poor. not chickensh*t enough? punish their children for being poor. that will REALLY teach them for having their jobs outsourced to 3rd world countries and the minimum wage not keeping up with actual living expenses.

  10. notconvincedgranny says

    I’d like to know who paid for the lunch that was thrown away; was that added to the tab? The district obviously had the money and only required reimbursement. The state should check into that waste of funds.

  11. DameloSuave says

    In addition, it appears this school district is the only one who does this – the others allow the child to have lunch even if the account is zero – and they immediately notify the parents. Nor were they really sorry – giving the child a piece of fruit and milk definitely means he/she won’t be hungry *side-eye*

    As my grandmother would say, someone was smelling themselves…and that ish stinks.

  12. says

    You don’t DO shit like that to kids! Hell sometimes school lunch is the only meal a lot of kids get…just fucking petty. Ugh.

  13. WanderBoi says

    My jaw literally dropped when I read this. I mean come on! How as a school, you don’t have this information available? Text, email, phone call, letter pinned to little Johnny, or Joneisha, or Josue. How could it have gotten this bad and this embarrassing?

  14. Candace says

    Yeah they do that at the public schools in my town too…Just a complete waste of food and added expense to turn right back around and give them milk and fruit when they could have just eaten the meal that was thrown in the trash. My niece goes to private school and instead of throwing away the lunch, they will withhold report cards till fees are paid. This one parent owed lunch $$, PTA fees, etc, and they wouldn’t let the child go on any of the school trips till her dues were paid.

    • Beffa says

      where I live in the public schools (unless things have changed since I had a school age child) if you owe fees then they just keep the report card I have never heard of them withholding lunch.

      • LadyCant says

        That is so much more sensible!! Just another way of humiliating the poor through their “weakest” link….

  15. Troy Frazier says

    Yeah, but this shit happened in Utah, which means it happened to a bunch of white people so…it’s okay.