Cherry Hill Public School District feels pushback over student lunch debt policy

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Cherry Hill Public School District is getting pushback over enforcing a crackdown on student lunch debt.

The cafeteria will try to discourage missed payments by serving tuna fish sandwiches, rather than hot lunches, to students owing more than $10.

Once a $20 debt is accrued, the student would not receive any food from the school at all.

The school board says the district has $14,000 worth of unpaid lunches.

Parents will have the chance to weigh in on the policy at a meeting later this month.

The school district issued a statement saying the policy has been in effect for the past two academic years, but hasn't been enforced in its entirety.

In July, the Wyoming Valley West school board in Pennsylvania warned parents behind on their lunch bills that their children could end up in foster care.

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A Pennsylvania school district is being criticized after sending parents a letter stating that their children would be placed in foster care over their unpaid lunch tabs.


After apologizing for the tone of letter, the school board agreed to accept a donation from Todd Carmichael, chief executive of Philadelphia-based La Colombe Coffee, to pay off the $22,000 in overdue bills.

In June, a 9-year-old boy in Napa, California used his allowance money to pay off the lunch debt for his entire third grade class which totaled $74.50.

"I want them to feel happy someone cares about them," Ryan Kirkpatrick said.

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A 9-year-old boy is making a difference for his peers in Napa.

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