New Mexico bans schools from 'lunch shaming' students with no money

SANTA FE, N.M. (WPVI) -- New Mexico has become the first state to ban "lunch shaming" students who don't have lunch money.

This follows a wave of stories where students got stamped, called out or even forced to clean lunch tables just to get a lunch.

Last fall, a cafeteria worker in Pennsylvania said she was ordered to throw away a hot lunch that she had already served to a first grader and give him a plain cheese sandwich instead.

In Albuquerque, kids without lunch money were given cold cheese sandwiches and fruit, a move which was criticized for singling out the child and punishing them for being poor.

This new Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights was signed into law today by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

She says there has to be a better way for schools to collect debts and for families to sign up for meal assistance.

The goal is to settle it with the parents and let the kids eat shame-free.

Martinez hopes other states follow their lead.


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