Published February 14, 2012
A Hoke County preschooler was fed chicken nuggets for lunch because a state worker felt that her homemade lunch did not have enough nutritional value, according to a report by the Carolina Journal.
The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a state agent who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch — which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips — “did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines,” the Journal reports.
The decision was made under consideration of a regulation put in place by the the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to meet USDA guidelines.
“When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones,” the Journal reports.
The student’s mother told the Journal she received a note from the school about the incident and was charged $1.25 for the cafeteria tray, from which her daughter only ate three chicken nuggets.
The note explained how students who did not bring “healthy lunches” would be offered the missing portions and that parents could be charged for the cost of the cafeteria food, the Journal reports.
The mother, who was not identified in the report, expressed concern about school officials telling her daughter that she wasn’t “packing her lunch box properly.”