Minnesota school district apologizes for throwing out hot meals for students with over $15 in lunch debt

A Minnesota school district apologized Monday for a policy that led to high school cafeteria workers throwing away the hot meals of students with lunch debt exceeding $15.

A video of the incident at Richfield High School was uploaded on social media. Amid outrage, the Richfield district –  south of Minneapolis – issued an apology.

“We deeply regret our actions today and the embarrassment that it caused several of our students,” Richfield Public Schools wrote. “We have met with some of the students involved and apologized to them.”

Richfield High School came under fire after cafeteria workers allegedly threw away the hot meals of students who had lunch debt.

Richfield High School came under fire after cafeteria workers allegedly threw away the hot meals of students who had lunch debt. (richfieldschools.org)

Officials said the high school’s nutrition services staff had begun implementing a practice where students with a meal balance of $15 or more are provided with an “alternative lunch.”

On Monday, around 40 students had hot lunches taken off their trays, thrown out, and replaced with a cold lunch, KARE 11 reported.

“Once our administration was made aware of the situation, we immediately ceased the practice in time for the third lunch period,” the school district said.

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Tables at Richfield High School will be set up during lunch this week for students to check their account balances and ask questions about nutrition services, the district said.

Fox News reached out to the high school and school district with a request for comment.

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The school district said it has nearly $20,000 in outstanding lunch account balances. Officials said parents and community members have called about donating to help pay off balances.