District plans to create new policy about reduced cost lunches

"We will never let a child go hungry."

District plans to create new policy about reduced cost lunches

INDIO, Calif. - "We will never let a child go hungry," Sherry Johnstone from Desert Sands Unified School District said.
DSUSD took Debra Doran's complaint very seriously.

"It's usually about $2.75 and I give them a check every two weeks. Sometimes they spend over the amount I gave them, and she was short a quarter and they refused to give my daughter lunch," Doran said.

We sat down with Johnstone. DSUSD's policy is this: any student who qualifies gets lunch for free - and will never be denied food. Debra's daughter wasn't on that plan, though. 

"One or two times if the child forgets and the card is full, they give them the meal. In a situation where it is not a free or reduced lunch and the student cant afford and doesn't qualify for free or reduced they might say, 'Tell someone at home to put more on your card.' But, we can't have abuse," Johnstone said.

Though Debra's daughter didn't qualify for free lunches, many think no child should be denied food. Instead the school should contact the parent. We brought Debra's concerns to the district, which is now rethinking the situation. Currently, younger kids can charge a few lunches if they're short.

"We are working on moving the high school so they can charge lunches, as well," Johnstone said. 

We talked to other districts to see what they offer parents needing some help. Palm Springs Unified School District just created a new policy regarding reduced lunches, where those who qualify for a reduced rate just get the lunch for free.

Coachella Valley Unified School District qualifies for every student to get free breakfast and lunch. 


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