Mum’s anger after son went ‘without his lunch’ because she owed £4 on school meals account
A mum went to her son’s school after he went ‘without lunch’ because she owed £4 on his account for lunchtime meals.
The mother – who wishes to remain anonymous – says her son has been “humiliated” over the situation at Bramall High School, Stockport.
She says the ladies at dinner refused to serve her a plate of pasta because her account was over £4.05.
The School Meals Account helps low-income families participate in subsidized meals.
The woman says the dinner lady confirmed with another member of staff that he could not be allowed to eat, reports the Manchester Evening News.
He was offered a sandwich worth 40p but as he can’t eat butter without feeling ill he refused and so went without his lunch, she said.
The incident raised concerns about what happened with the food he had already chosen and what would have happened if it were more in debt.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, she said she originally received an email from the school on Monday morning advising her that she only had £1.70 in debt, but was not hadn’t had the chance to do so before her son went to school.
“I work six days a week and I just haven’t had the opportunity to,” she said.
“He arrived at school in the morning and had a sausage bar and a drink, which pushed him into more debt.
“Anyway, at lunchtime he arrived at the checkout, he had chosen his pasta and put it on the tray.
“She then said ‘you’re in debt’, then left to tell someone else what to do, then came back and said no to him to have the food because he didn’t have paid.”
She added that he was offered a sandwich, which was worth 40p, but he refused as he doesn’t eat butter as it makes him feel bad.
His son said it “has often happened” with other students in a similar situation if their accounts were debited.
She said the incident raised questions about what will happen next.
“My question is, even without Covid, do they give the food to someone else, or do they just throw it away?” she asked.
“If they give it, especially with Covid, is it cross-contamination, or are they deliberately not feeding a child. Was it an oversight?
“And if I had more, would my child go without food for another day? »
She said she was left angry and upset following the incident.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“My son is not Oliver.
“I was just appalled. It really upset me and I couldn’t believe no one was calling me or asking if I was in trouble – what if I was in financial trouble, would it have been refused again?
“What if he was £30 in debt? I worry about what will happen to parents who are struggling financially and unable to claim school meals.
She said it ‘wasn’t just human error’ and happened ‘regularly’ to other school children.
“I find this shocking, especially since Marcus Rashford has done so much to make sure children don’t starve themselves,” she added.
Footballer Marcus Rashford has championed a campaign for free school meals for children during school holidays and has since been awarded an MBE for his work tackling child poverty.
A Bramhall High School spokesperson said: ‘The school has a policy in place when an account is debited.
“As the parent said, on this occasion a sandwich was offered as an alternative, in line with our policy, and it was declined.”