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Little Girl Recalls Moment She Was Forced to Return Her Lunch When There Wasn’t Enough Money In Her Account

An Indiana man is calling for change after his granddaughter was forced to take the “cafeteria walk of shame” on May 17.

According to WIS 10,  Dwight Howard’s granddaughter, Anya Howard, 6, had to trade in her hot meal for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Friday because she didn’t have enough money in her lunch account.

The lunch costs $2.25, but Anya only had ten cents in her account. The kindergartener said she had to walk past about 20 students to get to the back of the lunch line. Further, she said she was teased while doing so.

Anya recalled:

“They were laughing at us, and they got more food than us.”

Howard says the whole ordeal being unnecessary. Also, he claims he was never even notified that his granddaughter’s account was low.

The grandfather said:

“When she was talking to me about it, she was more than ‘sad.’ I mean, that’s embarrassing for a little 6-year-old. They waited until there was a dime left, denied her the opportunity to eat the lunch that she had [been served and tried to pay for] and then she had to go to the end of the line to wait for a PB&J”

In contrast, Dr. Kent DeKoninck, the Greenwood Community Schools superintendent, says parents are alerted when lunch accounts hit a balance of $5.

Additionally, he wrote in an email:

It is not an uncommon occurrence for multiple students to be served the alternate lunch on any given day. Any time this happens, our staff looks to handle all of these as discreetly as possible.

However, Howard is asking the school to consider changing its policy after receiving a notice about it on Friday.

The note stated:

“If there is not enough money in your child’s account to cover the entire meal, they will be receiving a peanut butter sandwich and a milk.”

Furthermore, parents have been informed that lunch accounts are no longer permitted to fall to a negative balance.