Check out this extremely unappetizing cheese sandwich.
This is a picture from a stranger on the internet, but it looks almost identical to what the cheese sandwich kids get to have for lunch.
So here's the deal. At my school if kids don't bring lunch money they can charge their lunch. But if they owe too much their lunch gets taken away and they get a cold cheese sandwich very similar to the one pictured above (but usually on a skinny bun because childhood obesity) and milk. Last year I had a kid whose mom didn't send him lunch money often so I'd occasionally put money in his account (secretly). Because getting your lunch taken away in front of everyone after you've already filled your tray is mortifying.
This year one of my students wrote in his journal that the worst part of school was when you have to get a cheese sandwich at lunch. And then it happened to him the other day because he owed $9 or so in charged lunches. And he wouldn't look at or talk to anyone for the rest of the day. I gave him an extra apple and cheese stick that I had, but the whole situation was awful.
My mom and sister won't let me talk to them about this because it's heartbreaking. So I'm coming to the internet. What do I do (or what is the solution) to the problem of the cheese sandwich kids? Do I throw money in the lunch accounts when I know they're getting low? I stopped doing it last year after I was out about $60. Or do I just ignore it? Should the cafeteria just suck it up and let them charge indefinitely? Or what?
I know the theory is that if they get a cheese sandwich then they'll finally remember to tell their parents, but that usually doesn't work. Is it really the kid's fault? I really do want to know what you think.