MCPS students will not receive “alternative meals” if in debt

May 11, 2022, 2:08 p.m. | By Josey Merolli | 2 years, 1 month ago

Students who owe lunch money will still receive hot meals

Last year, members of the Montgomery County Board of Education proposed a policy that would give students with lunch debt different meals from their fellow students. Students in debt would receive a sandwich, fruit, and milk, rather than a hot meal. 

The policy was initially reported on by the Bethesda Beat in May of last year, which prompted backlash. Many education advocates believed that the policy would leave students vulnerable to bullying, clearly setting them apart from their peers. 

The policy was tabled for nearly a year, but changes to the policy were finalized on Tuesday in a Board meeting. The decision was unanimous and the new policy will be implemented on July 1, 2022, giving all students hot meals regardless of debt. The change was welcomed by advocates. If a student has a negative balance of $35, students will not be allowed to purchase additional food items from the school cafeteria. The policy also lists the various methods of communication used to contact parents of students with lunch debt. 

In the future, many community members wish to see free lunches for all students, family income notwithstanding.

Last updated: May 11, 2022, 2:10 p.m.

Tags: MCPS School lunches MCPS policy Cafeteria staff

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