Duval parent says daughter denied school lunch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Duval County mother says her daughter sat through an eight hour school-day with no food at all. Angie Paul says her daughter's first day of school was anything but pleasurable for the 13-year-old. In fact, she said the experience made her sick.

"She went from eight in the morning to six at night without eating and due to the stress and the lack off food that she received on the first day of school, she got sick," said Paul.

Her daughter suffers from Cyclic Vomiting syndrome. Paul says her daughter was denied lunch because of missing information on the check that she handed the cashier.

"When she tried to get lunch that day the cashier would not accept her check because of a missing driver's license number," said Paul.

Paul says her daughter was not offered a replacement meal and instead.

"I've been writing checks to the school for eleven years because I have a son who is in the ninth grade and all I've ever had to do was put the students ID and name on the check," said Paul.

And, Paul is right.The School Food Program does not require parents to write their driver's license on the check. Duval School Food Supervisor Mark Dingee and Lois Alderson from Duval County schools dining service Chartwells say it was a mistake on the cashier's part.

"It was an isolated incident and it was an honest mistake made by one of our team members," said Alderson. "We made sure to inform not just that team but also to reiterate to all of our teams across the district that that is not our policy and we would much rather take a bad check than to deny a student lunch."

According to Alderson, there are three ways to ensure your child's lunch is payed for. The first and most efficient way is to visit the website: mylunchmoney.com

"It's a free system that [parents] can set up and they can re-load the money and check what their child is buying," said Alderson.

You can send cash or check with a child to the cafeteria. According to Alderson, the only check they will not accept is a counter check. Also, new this year, each child can charge one hot meal, even if they have no money. There are also replacement meals for all children in the district who cannot afford lunch or who may have forgotten their lunch money.

"As a policy with Duval County Public Schools and with Chartwells, it is important that every child go home fed and get the nourishment they need to get through the day," said Alderson.


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