A Florida high school sophomore who was 15 cents short of having enough money for a cafeteria lunch was turned away and the meal thrown in the trash, the girl’s mother is telling CBS News.
As a result, the girl spent the entire first day at school without anything to eat, the girl’s mother, Kimberly Aiken, told CBS affiliate WKMG-TV. The incident happened at University High School in Orange City, Fla.
“She puts her food on the tray, gets to the front, gives her number to the cashier, and she says, ‘Well, you owe 15 cents,’ “ Aiken recalled. “My daughter said she didn’t have any money, so the cashier took her food.”
Actually, the cashier threw the meal in the trash, the mom told the station. The mother declined to name her daughter.
“You want to make sure that your kids are coming to school, and they’re going to be taken care of,” Aiken told CBS. “We already have all of the scary things happening, but the one thing you don’t want them to worry about is: Are they going to be able to eat when they go to lunch?”
The school hosts a reduced-lunch program but it had not yet taken effect, Aiken said. She told CBS that the 15-cent discrepancy must have been a carry over from the previous school year.
The school district said it would work with the family to resolve the incident.
“The school is always willing to work with students and families as needed,” Roger Edgcomb, spokesman for Volusia County Public Schools, told WKMG-TV. “The school will be contacting the family directly to help resolve the issue.”
The girl brought a quarter to school the following day to resolve the issue but the cashier told the girl she owed nothing and the issue had been resolved.