Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah [Elementary School] 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. …
[Erica] 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.”