Man pays for 60 children’s school lunches after they were thrown out

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HOUSTON, TX – Last week, dozens of children at Uintah elementary school had their lunch trays snatched away from them before they could take a bite. Workers at the Elementary School removed the already-served food because some students had negative balances in the accounts used to pay for lunches.

Kenny Thompson didn’t want to see that repeated at Houston’s Valley Oaks Elementary School. KPRC reports that on Monday, the longtime mentor and tutor paid off the negative lunch account balances of more than 60 students.

Thompson told KPRC, “I know that’s probably a situation at my school, and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at. So I came in and inquired about it.”

He didn’t just inquire. He handed over $465 of his own money to zero out the accounts of the children who were potentially affected – many of whom were already on reduced lunch that cost just 40 cents a day.


  • Kim Smith Marjama

    There has been times when my son’s lunch account was empty and he charged for over a week because he kept forgetting to tell me to send in money. The cafeteria finally called me and let me know. i was glad to send in money. He never went hungry. It is a shame that the food was thrown out, what happened to common sense? But it’s a parent’s responsiblity to feed their child, not the schools. Let’s put the blame where it belongs!

  • Jane Flanders

    Yes, a nice gesture. But, surely, it is the parents’ responsibility to pay for school meals. If this guy continues to pay, I suspect some parents may just continue to let him.

  • Steven Sweeney

    Typical teachers unions…take food away from kids, and give taxpayer funds to administration for BMWS and Acuras..this would have NEVER happened at a private school..Thanks teachers union for your usual “fine” job! Keep on taxing while those test scores plummet! that’s the union label!

  • Stephanie

    Many of you people don’t understand that schools must bring in as much money as they spend. Period. At the end of the day there is not a single human being on Earth who would say, ‘no food for you’ if given the choice. But the workers must get pd, the bills must get pd., or there is no food at all. People seem to think there’s an endless credit crd attached to anything that is a public service. I would live to see the cell phone bill or shoe price of many of the ‘needy’ childrens’ parents as compared to 40 cents per day. And look at the regulations that school cafeterias work under now in order to have less fat, preservatives, on-site nutritionists, etc. and people wonder why schools have to find ways to draw the line somewhere. I schools are to be charitable institutions we need to all agree and examine how well-run charities work and stop calling them ‘schools’ and kidding ourselves that we are actually educating America’s children.

    • Kelli Gardner

      Public schools are primarily supported by tax dollars, so what you’re assuming about them working like a retail shop is simply incorrect. Even the “full-priced” lunches are federally subsidized. And PLEASE stop making the assumption that all poor people have tons of expensive luxury items and simply neglect their children. Is there anything you’d like to add that’s based in facts?

  • Jackie cotton

    God bless Mr Thompson that school should be ashamed. If it weren’t for them kids they wouldn’t have a job be like a lot of the country already is. That’s why we bpay taxes they act like it was their own pockets ty Mr Thompson for our humanity

  • Teresa

    Sandy, you hit it on the nose! Now our school provides a complimentary meal for those owing over $10.00. When I was in school I never heard of a replacement meal. If we didn’t bring our lunch or had our prepaid lunch ticket, we didn’t eat unless we brought money for snacks.Thank goodness times have changed now we can give someone a meal.These days parents can applied for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.We hand out information at orientations,the school office and support services for the School district. The parent can also call the cashier at there child’s school, we love being able to help someone in need.We can’t help unless you the parent lets us now there is a problem,it’s called communication.Most schools have automated phone calls go out once a week for people who owe, also letters,emails are sent home to inform them even handing a student an envelope to be able to bring money in for lunch.Some schools you can go on there web site and look up what your child is spending and how much they have left on there account.Even the principle and assistant principle make calls home.At our school a parent can go to the web site and pay online with credit or debit or they can send cash or check with there child to school. Pretty convenient! Not me or you, but the parents of these children are responsible for there accounts and it is great that someone has helped all these families, but does it really help these families is he going to be there with there next $10.00 probably not.These families if struggling need to contact there School’s Food Service and get assistance and the families that choose not to try or send any money putting there child at risk of getting a replacement….. Shame on them. Putting the blame on the lunch staff they are just doing what they are told by the Administration Office and really they only allow 2 meals so $10.00 is the allowance food service has chosen before giving out a replacement.At our school we try not to bring attention to that child and if they end up getting the meal we just charge to there account and remind them to bring money for there meals. No child goes without a meal we give them a couple options,They have a regular tray just like everyone else except for one item different so not to charge there account. If there is one thing I hate to do is to give a child a replacement meal, it’s not there fault… I know that some students don’t tell there parents and they get behind, but really! parents aren’t you suppose to check to make sure they are doing there homework, papers that might need signing, lunch money. There’s a lot of responsibility placed on the students no days so parents what happened to you be responsible for your child. It’s very hard to figure out a easy way of handing out replacement meals. “Ideas Please”. You can’t go to the classroom to give the teacher the replacement slip that could embarrass the student… I Agree. You take the food away in line…Now that’s embarrassing. Watch for them before they get into line and tell them of there options…. It works but you have to see them before they get there and that means walking away from the register slowing the line down….not much time to eat then. So with all said; What do schools do? I’m sure free meals for everyone is out of the question,but I would like to know how those other schools have done that.The government has guidelines for everything surely they could feed all the children for free. Maybe they can raise the taxes to pay for every student enrolled in school. I don’t know, just someone come up with a plan to make everyone happy.We want the children to learn and in order for that to happen they need to be fed not only at school but at home too.We love to see smiling faces coming through the doors.I tell the monitors in the cafe if you see a child sitting there with nothing to eat please let me know so I can take care of them, most the time they are embarrassed to come up thinking money wasn’t put in the account or they forgot there lunch. I tell them not to worry because that is what I am here for. to take care of them. I care very much for my kiddos!

  • Teresa

    Brenda, I don’t know about those particular workers but at our school we have to pay for anything taken home and we better have a receipt that it was paid for.Now if you want to see waste go to your child’s cafeteria and see how much food the government says they have to have on there tray. Go stand by the trash can and see how much fresh fruits & vegetables get thrown away. Sad, I guess we can’t make them eat there fruits & veggies at school either.

  • Wendy

    So, lobby your representatives to pay for every student’s meal to be paid for. Spend less on foreign aid and more on our own kids.
    It is not the nutritional worker’s evil desire, they have a budget. Taking food away almost always results in money being sent in the next day. Let’s face it, no one wants to take food away.

  • Carol

    I graduated in the 70’s, we didn’t have free breakfast and if there were reduced lunches my mom didn’t fill out the forms. I remember going to school hungry and if I had lunch it wasn’t much. Is at through many classes with my stomach growling and wishing I had something to eat, I could not concentrate on learning. For those of you that have never felt your stomach twist with hunger it is easy to say it is the parents responsibility. Some parents cannot afford or do not care enough to make sure that their children are fed, should those children suffer because of that?

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