School districts across the country have lunch policies in place that limit how much students can charge to their lunch accounts, and Orange County Schools is no exception.
The lunch policy OCS has in place allows for elementary and middle school students to charge up to $10 in meals, but once they reach the limit, they cannot receive a regular school lunch. Instead, they receive an alternate lunch at no additional cost to the student. High school students cannot charge their lunches and must pay them in full.
In the OCS board meeting on Feb. 10, chairperson Will Atherton said he saw concerns on social media about the current lunch policy and how it is affecting students and their families.
“There’s been a concern raised about lunch shaming around our policy to have alternate meals,” Atherton said in the meeting.
Lunch shaming is a phenomenon occurring in schools across the United States where students are shamed for not being able to pay for their lunches every day in order to pressure families to pay student lunch debt quickly. With the lunch policy in OCS, elementary students pay $2.45 per lunch, while middle and high school students pay $2.95 per lunch. Once any of these students charge four meals, the policy states they receive an alternate meal instead of a hot lunch.