SNA issued a press release responding to recent national new stories reporting on the “school lunch shaming” of students unable to pay for school meals. Stories have appeared in The New York Times on NPR, NBC and other national outlets, which may prompt local media outlets to inquire about local unpaid meal policies. SNA has developed sample talking points to assist members in responding to these media inquiries.
Unfortunately, some stories have sensationalized unpaid meal policies and implied that “lunch shaming” practices are common nationwide. SNA members should be prepared to outline local meal charge policies and are encouraged to provide details on how their school meal programs work proactively with parents to enroll students in free and reduced price meals, notify them of low balances and compassionately implement unpaid meal policies.