Student denied lunch, mom pays for all unpaid lunches at school

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (WBND) — A Dowagiac student says he was humiliated when school officials took away his lunch because there wasn’t enough money in his account. After his mom heard what happened, she took matters into her own hands.

“It was really embarrassing, especially in front of the whole class,” said Dominic Gant, a junior at Dowagiac Union High School.

On Friday, Dominic was served his normal cafeteria lunch, but just as soon as he was served, his lunch was taken away.

Dominic had an outstanding balance of less than $5 in his lunch account. His high school, like many other schools, has a policy that denies a hot lunch, and sometimes any lunch, to students who can’t pay.

“I was appalled that he was denied lunch and his lunch was taken out of his hands over $5,” said Amanda Keown, Dominic’s mom.

She was so upset her son was sent home hungry, she immediately contacted the school. They told her the balance doesn’t matter, even if it’s a small amount.

“She asked me where is the cutoff, where do you draw the line with the charges, when do you say no more? And I said there shouldn’t be a line,” says Keown.

So she took matters into her own hands. She didn’t want to see another student be sent home hungry, so she paid off every student’s outstanding balance in the entire high school.

“I realize I didn’t have to do that but I don’t want another kid going through what my son went through,” said Keown.

52 comments

  • The truth

    In the end it’s a messed up system I’d much rather my tax dollars pay for a child’s lunch once a day 5 days a week rather than a murderer or pedophile gettin free meals 3 times a day 7 days a week. I would hope I’m not alone on that

  • B

    I hope she has plenty of money to pay for the lunches every month because of parents that don’t pay. This is why they have rules. I wonder how many students at this school gets reduced or free lunches?

  • ADen

    I am a teacher and I can tell you why the cafertierias are having to crack down. We have unpaid lunch balances that exceed $10,000 at our school–and that was at the mid year point. If parents don’t pay then it is taken from the instructional budget, which is already bare bones. It is ridiculous to read comments like “all kids shoud have a free lunch” or “don’t make them pay”. That is a part of the problem with our society today–the entitlement attitude. What have happened to working hard, and having financial responsibility? Everytime I hear people wanting something for free I think back to my 9th grade Civics teacher telling us “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Someone somewhere foots the bill.

  • Bobby

    One school here in NC does the samething, Under $5 then no lunch, however, everyone gets a free breakfast provided by the school. How do yall feel about that?

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