A Pittsburgh-area cafeteria worker very publicly walked off the job in a school lunchroom after announcing on Facebook she wouldn't participate in "lunch shaming."
Former Wylandville Elementary School cafeteria worker Stacey Kotiska took to social media to blast new school district directives that she not give hot lunches to students whose parents fall behind on payments.
The rule directs that students grades seven through 12th whose families are $25 or more behind on lunch payments be denied a lunch. State law requires K-6 students be provided lunch regardless of payment status. However, Kotiska wrote, those students who have not paid instead get a meager sandwich.
"It says that children in K through six will be provided a 'sandwich.' what You don't know is that they are being given one piece of cheese on bread," Kotiska wrote of conditions at the Canon McMillan School District in her Facebook diatribe, posted last week. "The first week of school on Friday, I had to take a little first grade boys chicken and give him this 'cheese sandwich.' I will never forget the look on his face and then his eyes welled up with tears."
Kotiska went on to complain that children who receive cheese sandwiches still have their accounts charged for a full hot lunch. Meanwhile, she ranted, countless hot lunches are being thrown away.
"What makes this even more sickening is that we throw so much food away every day," she wrote. "Our Children are being served cheese, being charged and denied the hot food that we then throw away."
The Canon McMillan School District enacted the policy to deal with about 300 parents who collectively owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid lunch fees, the The Associated Press reported. Now only about 70 parents are overdue on lunch accounts.