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Some Kids Miss Out on Lunch in ND Too - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Some Kids Miss Out on Lunch in ND Too

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A survey out of Minnesota has found that many of their school districts won't feed their students if they don't have enough money in their account. As we first reported yesterday Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Frazee and Vergas are among four dozen on the list. Governor Mark Dayton is calling on lawmakers to approve money to make sure no students go hungry. But as Valley News team's Eric Crest explains the policy is not isolated to Minnesota, with many districts in North Dakota doing the same.

It's a meal that helps students get through their day. But while policies are different at Moorhead, West Fargo and Fargo. They all admit to taking a hot lunch away from students at one point or another, who's lunch balance is in the red.

"I have heard that it has been done previously. But our rules are not to do that," says Moorhead public school Superintendent Lynne Kovash.

The two food service directors we spoke with today from Fargo and West Fargo said something very similar. They have taken food away for lack of funds before. One mom in West Fargo says her daughter had to deal with the situation first hand.

"Probably about a month ago my daughter called and said I don't have enough money. I can't eat. They took her tray, she was 10 cents short," says Barbra Martinson.

That policy isn't enforced by the state but rather it's a decision made by individual school districts. North Dakota's child nutrition and food distribution program director put it this way in an email to the state superintendent.

"We strongly recommend that schools develop and enforce a policy regarding unpaid meal charges," wrote Linda Schloer.

Adding that a policy should also be put into place regarding when or if an alternate meal would be given.

"I saw this yesterday and it tugged at my heart cause my daughters have gone through this and it's embarrassing. And it shouldn't take place," says Martinson.

Both Fargo and West Fargo public schools say they let parents know when their child's balance is getting low. But when the balance is negative they have to resort to giving that student a sandwich and a milk. Though they say a lot of times, kids are too embarrassed to take it.

"It is very embarrassing especially when you have to say can I borrow ten cents," adds Martinson.

If you have a student in the Fargo school district they've just made it a bit easier to find out if your child's account is getting low. Sign up for automated updates to your email at mylunchmoney.com

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