Jacksonville Students Get Free Lunches Despite Unpaid Bills

A North Carolina school district has decided to quit giving cheaper lunches to children whose parents owe money.

The Jacksonville Daily News reported Thursday that the Onslow County school board decided to eliminate alternative meals typically comprised of a cheese sandwich, two vegetables or fruits and milk.

School board member Jeff Brown says the alternatives were humiliating for children who received them.

Assistant superintendent Barry Collins says the meals had been served starting last year to pressure parents who owed more than $100. For students paying the full price for cafeteria meals, that meant nearly 60 days of lunches.

Parents owed the school district more than $100,000 in unpaid meals last year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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