The stories from across the country about children being lunch shamed when they can’t pay are heartbreaking and frustrating. Children experience embarrassment and teasing from other classmates because an adult in their life has not been able to provide lunch money. Some children choose not to eat in order to avoid the shame of not being able to pay.

Hungry children cannot focus in class, which makes them unavailable for learning. We have an opportunity to make sure that every child has access to a hot lunch. We have the opportunity to counter this problem and make sure no child is Maine is lunch shamed again.

L.D. 1684, An Act Forbidding Food Shaming, Food Denial and the Use of Food as Discipline Involving Any Child in Maine’s Public Schools, is our chance to ensure every child in Maine has access to the same lunch regardless of their ability to pay. It also seeks to require a school communicate a student’s meal debts with a parent or guardian directly.

Our children have enough to worry about in school already; having to worry about lunch and how to pay for it should not be one of those things. I encourage our local legislators vote for L.D. 1684.

Janet Morang


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