She quit her job in tears
via Fox 8
Over this year’s summer break, the Canon-McMillan School District in Pennsylvania enacted a new school lunch policy. The new rules state that if a child has an outstanding balance of $25 on their lunch tab, they will not be given a hot lunch. Those in grades seven through twelve will not be served and children in kindergarten through sixth grades will be given a cold sandwich. So after being forced to deny two children hot lunches in favor of a paltry piece of cheese on bread, Stacy Koltiska, a cafeteria worker for the district, quit her job.
In a Facebook post last Thursday, Stacy Koltiska gave a personal account of how the new rules affect the children she serves with an emotional post. “On Friday, I had to take a little first-grade boy’s chicken and give him this ‘cheese sandwich,’ ” she wrote. “I will never forget the look on his face and then his eyes welled up with tears.” After the second time she was forced to take away a child’s hot meal, Koltiska quit her job.
After Koltiska’s post went viral, the school district responded saying the new policy has “no impact on students who are eligible for the national school breakfast and lunch program” and that it was meant “to address accountability for deficit lunch accounts accrued by families with the ability to pay for their child’s school meals.” While parents should be responsible for providing lunches, making a child suffer for their parents’ inability to pay is reprehensible.
This change in policy at the Canon-McMillan School District isn’t an isolated incident. There’s a national movement brewing to roll back federal programs that provide school lunches for low-income children. A 2010 bill which provided free meals to every student enrolled in public schools where at least 40 percent of children lived in low-income houses has been under attack from House Republicans. These lawmakers have been pushing to only allow this privilege to schools with 60 percent of their students at or near the poverty line.
Here’s Stacy Koltiska’s full post:
ATTENTION ALL PARENTS WHO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE CANON McMILLAN SCHOOL DISTRICT!!! I need to inform you about a new policy involving school lunches that You may Not be aware of. As most of you know, I worked at Wylandville Elementary School’s Cafeteria. Although it was hot and hard work, I love the joy and excitement the younger children got from something as simple as a school lunch. This year Canon Mac implemented a new Rule 808.1. This rule states that any child who has a balance of $25 or more will not receive a lunch if they are in Grades 7 through 12. State law requires that children K through 6 must be given a lunch. In Rule 808.1 it says that children in K through 6 will be provided a “Sandwich” what You don’t know is that they are being given One Piece of Cheese on Bread. This isn’t even being toasted. Yet they are still being charged the FULL PRICE of a HOT LUNCH that is being DEINIED to them. 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. 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. If you are as outraged at this disgusting policy, please take a minute and e-mail Michael W. Daniels, Superintendent of Schools, Joni Mansmann, Director of Business and Finance. Jen Collins took my feelings and emotions and wrote an eloquent resignation letter that was sent to these people and others. She has a gift with the written word and said it much nicer than I could have. She also told me about a bus driver in another school district that heard kids were being denied lunch so he personally paid all the overdue accounts and then was Fired for posting on Facebook. I already resigned so please forward and spread the Word. I am only One Voice but if We all Come Together and Voice Our Outrage just maybe they will change this Policy. Probably not but its worth a shot. Thanks for Listening!!!