Mom upset son went hungry at school

Published: Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:33 PM CST
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Cade Miller suffers from acid reflux, which gets worse on an empty stomach, his mother says.
Cade Miller suffers from acid reflux, which gets worse on an empty stomach, his mother says.

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - "It makes me feel horrible," said Julie Miller. She's upset that her son Cade came home hungry from University Elementary School.

"And [he] told me that they did not give him anything but two pieces of bread and a slice of cheese," said Miller.

Cade told his mom that's all he was given when his lunch card came up short on funds.

"They're children, it's not their fault," said Miller.

When asked how she responds to the opinion that keeping the card funded was the parent's responsibility, Miller said "I agree completely it is ultimately the parent's responsibility." She goes on to say "But my son has never had this happen before, he's always had his lunch money."

And that's the reason she believes he should have been given more to eat, considering he suffers from an illness that is compounded when he hasn't had much to eat.

"He has what is called GERD or acid reflux disease and you're not supposed to let your stomach get too empty or that makes it worse. He's on medication for that," said Miller.

She contacted the school to get some answers, but didn't like what the principal had to say.

"It's just ridiculous in that this is a policy where when you have food being thrown away at the end of the day and you're not feeding a hungry child," said Miller.

She says she asked about loaning children money.

"I asked why they can't do this and she said because they won't ever get their money back," said Miller.

We called the school principal for an explanation of the policy but we were referred to the Caddo Parish School Board.    

Deborah Harris with Caddo School's Child Nutrition office tells us there is no official written policy, and it's different for each school,  But according to Harris the general consensus is that no child should go without a meal.

So the question is now how will Miller avoid this in the future? "I will most definitely be better with keeping up with his account. I may even just start sending his lunch every day so that I know he's well fed," said Miller.

Harris tells us there are several ways to avoid a child missing lunch. Students can borrow from the school's general fund - that usually carries 250 dollars. Or they can borrow from the PTA fund, from each individual school.

We also asked Bossier school officials to provide us with a policy concerning students who are not able to pay for a lunch. We're told regardless of a student's ability to pay, students are served the same lunch trays as other students, and an "owe note" is sent home with the child to collect any debt owed.

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