A dinner lady who works in Canon-McMillan School District in Pennsylvania has quit her job after a strict new policy forced her to deny a young boy a hot meal.
Stacy Koltiska revealed the reasons behind her resignation in a Facebook post, where she explained the new rules that children whose parents are behind with their lunch payments by $25 or more will be given a cold sandwich of just cheese and bread, but still be billed for a hot meal.
‘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,’ she wrote in the post, which has since received more than 4,500 shares.
‘I was going to resign on Monday but my mother passed away on Sunday so I forgot about it until yesterday when it happened again. I had the same sick feeling so today I resigned. What makes this even MORE SICKENING is that we throw so much food away EVERYDAY.’
‘So Our Children are being served cheese, being charged and denied the hot food that we then throw away. Once again, it comes down to Profits Over People but this time the People are Our Children.’
She then implored her fellow parents to voice their concerns: ‘I am only One Voice but if We all Come Together and Voice Our Outrage just maybe they will change this Policy.’
After her post went viral, Stacy’s story has picked up plenty of media attention. She told reporters at local news station WSLS 10: ‘What am I supposed to do? Take their hot tray, remove that hot food, put that cheese sandwich on the tray and then throw it away? And the food director said “Well, don’t let them see you throw it away”.’
Referencing the boy she’d had to enforce the policy with, she said his face lit up when he saw that lunch that day was chicken. ‘His little eyes welled up with tears, and it was just so heartbreaking for me.’
Speaking to the Washington Post, she added: ‘As a Christian, I have an issue with this. It’s sinful and shameful is what it is.’
‘God is love, and we should love one another and be kind. There’s enough wealth in this world that no child should go hungry, especially in school. To me this is just wrong.’
The school district in question later issued a statement responding to the backlash from parents.
‘The purpose of Policy 808.1 is to resolve what has become a statewide issue at our local level,’ they wrote.
‘It is to address accountability for deficit lunch accounts accrued by families with the ability to pay for their child’s school meals. There is no impact on students who are eligible for the national school breakfast and lunch programs.’
‘If you have any questions about eligibility or need an application please see your building principal or the district business office. ‘