Friday, July 28, 2017

Local School Board Responds to Demands to End Lunch Shaming

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard joined the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, the Commission on the Status of Black Males, and many other organizations, commissions and individuals in calling on the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) to end their lunch shaming practices, and change their policy on lunch debt collection. You can read more about our efforts on this issue here, and here.

Following the June School Board meeting, when many spoke out against the policy of giving students with unpaid lunch debt an alternative meal (thus stigmatizing them and making them accountable for debt that their parents owe), MCCSC Superintendent Judith DeMuth called a meeting with those who had made public comments at the meeting. At that meeting, Hattie Johnson, MCCSC's Director of Nutrition Services announced the details of DeMuth's new lunch debt policy, which did away with the alternative meal, and took the students completely out of the school lunch debt collection process.

At the July School Board Meeting on July 25, the new policy was officially approved by the school board, and passed unanimously.

All of us at The Hub are pleased with the outcome, and proud to have been involved in this effective campaign about such an important issue.

What's next?
While we are thrilled to see this destructive policy removed from our local school system, these sorts of lunch shaming policies persist across the nation. Support the bipartisan federal
legislation, the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017 by signing Feeding America's petition to urge congress to support this legislation. You can also write to your representatives at the statehouse, and at the national level, to let them know your views on these policies, and urge them to take action to put an end to them.
A huge thank you to all of those who participated in the Hub's Advocacy Working Group, and to everyone in the community who stepped up and spoke out on this issue. Our voices can make a difference.

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