Connections: School lunch shaming in Rochester's suburbs

Jan 26, 2018

On any given day last spring, nearly one in 10 children in the Rochester suburbs had a negative balance on a school lunch account. Because of that, many were denied lunch. That’s according to a recent Democrat & Chronicle report by Justin Murphy. He explored what’s known as “lunch shaming” in Rochester-area districts. The practice refers to schools across the state withholding food, providing alternate meals, making students “earn” their lunch by doing chores, or giving students wristbands identifying them as truant if they can’t pay for meals. In some schools, staff even throw lunches in the garbage if students pick up food and cannot pay once they reach the register.

We discuss the policies of local districts, and changes that may be coming at the state level. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Debbi Beauvais, school nutrition director at Gates Chili, East Rochester, and East Irondequoit Central School Districts
  • Casey Kosiorek, superintendent of the Hilton Central School District
  • Mike Bulger, healthy communities coordinator for the Healthi Kids coalition at Common Ground Health'
  • Kiara Warren, parent