First-grader claims lunch lady told him, ‘Guess what? You can’t have a lunch’

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SNOHOMISH. Wash.-- The only thing 7-year-old Xavier loves more than his math homework are his fruits and vegetables. But Xavier's parents say they're concerned because on Oct. 20, the first-grader was denied school lunch at Cascade View Elementary.

“It was a sack lunch. It was in a bag, she was passing it around to everybody. The lunch lady said, ‘Guess what, you can’t have a lunch.’ She said that. She said I can't have a lunch,” Xavier said.

Xavier is on the free lunch program. But instead of getting a meal, Xavier was sent home with a grumbling tummy and a slip saying he had a negative lunch balance, Xavier's dad, Eric, told KCPQ.

“My question was never answered as to why he was denied. I was very mad. I couldn't believe it happened. It happened to me as a child and I could still feel that hurt and I can only imagine what he went through,” Eric said.

The Snohomish County School District said they are investigating. The school spokesperson says whenever a student’s account is negative $20 or more, the child gets a cheese sandwich and unlimited fruits and veggies from the salad bar, along with a drink.

Eric said this does not apply to his son.

“We get funds from the state, food stamp wise, which means his balance should be covered,” Eric said.

Eric said he's angry over how the school handled the situation and he's concerned over how it's affected Xavier. He is now considering removing his children from the school.


  • Gina Biancuzzo

    When your account balance is low the district sends an email. Since this child is receiving the free & reduced lunch he should have gotten at least the bare minimum If the state hadn’t refilled his account. Most districts will let the family know by sending an email or leaving a VM letting one know what their balance is however with that being said it is the responsibility of the PARENTS NOT THE STATE TO MAKE SURE THE FUNDS ARE THERE!

    • Sean Barrett

      Exactly! These parents are 2 able bodied people. Who don’t work steady jobs and dont even take the time to make sure their kid is going to be able to eat…But they made time to go to the news and get national coverage to cry about not getting 1 handout, 1 time…

  • cheryl meunier

    Happened to my daughter as well. Apparently we make $17 too much for her to get lunch free. I hadnt even been notified yet but they denied her lunch… funny part is they still charged her account for lunch that day and expect me to pay it!!

    • Sean Barrett

      Well, these people ran to the news to get attention for being denied their government assisted handout 1 f-ing time…So you could probably do the same if you wanted too. These people are ridiculous

  • Kevj

    So these folks are on government assistance but have nicer furniture and clothes than me and I work 40 to 60 hours per week full time as a professional…Not to detract as to the injustice to the child as that should not have happened no matter what because the child should not suffer for the worthless parents. But what the hell is going on when I work in not only a professional job but one of the toughest professions one can be in and yet myself and folks like me have to sacrifice to fit a bill so that people like this can have nice things. I truly hope that this child does not live by the example of his parents and grows up to make something of himself.

  • Christina Hartwig

    Wow, something similar just happened to my son. We do not receive free or reduced lunch, and I was notified of the low balance however I forgot to add money to his account and he was denied lunch totally. No cheese sandwich or anything. I know this was my fault but like someone said earlier…punish the child? Really? They could have called me, they could have just given him lunch and billed the account, or at the very least given him something/anything to eat. I was beyond upset. When I called the school I got told their policy is if the account is empty to deny lunch. Yet the entire city of Milwaukee gets free lunch no questions asked. Shame on my son for not making sure I did my job. Bet he won’t do that again. ……

  • Heidi B

    This is unacceptable! Bottom line whether a child gets free lunch or not, if a child is hungry give them some food! That staff member needs to be terminated. I am sure the child felt humilated by that staff members action. No compassion. Shame on the school to allow that to happen! I am sure the school would make it another day without a bag lunch!

  • Nola Schieferstein- Rains

    And the pitiful part is, they probably threw out enough food to feed several kids, but couldn’t give little boy anything! I used to help out in the cafeteria at one of our schools and the amount of food that gets thrown out every day is appalling!

  • FootballMom

    My kids don’t receive free or reduced lunch but I am human and have forgotten to send money on occasions with my kids even with reminders. Our school has never denied them a lunch do to a mistake on my part and am very great full for that. Punishing the child by not giving them the lunch is not apprpropriate this is something they are not in control of, it is the parents responsibility to care of with the school.

  • Vicki Main

    I receive foodstamps and my children get free lunches at school. I have never had a problem with our school district denying my kids lunch. That being said I have heard of this happening and it is disgraceful that any child is denied. Yes I do beleive the parents shoild have been a little more proactive I check monthly to make sure my kids free lunch availabilty is still on track where it needs to be. As to people having noce things one yes some people have hadbad luck after they aquired those nice things and then need to seek help from the state. Just because they have nice things doesnt mean the shoild be punished or not entitled to help when needed. I also am fortunate enough to live by a bigger city. What this means is while I am poor my kids still wear 90% expensive designer clothes. However I am not wasting my money to purchase these clothes I utilize resources around me. One of my biggest resource is craigslist. Whule I can go to walmart and spend fifty dollars per child and come out with only two or three outfits each. I shop online at craigslist and while it maybe a 30 minute drive I can find people who are selling these designer clothes for 7-10 dollars per garbage bag. They are nice good clothes. I also have a very nice furniture set. I did not spend any money for. I also found this on craigslist for free. A wealthy family decided to redecorate and was giving away their furniture set for free. You cannot judge by what people are wearing or what they have small otemwise as to their need of other things. Yes if they have brand new car I understand but even smart phones which I hear so much contoversary over cannot determine whether a person is mis spending their money. I have a samsung galaxy three that a friend gave tome when she upgraded to a better phone. I was then able to take this phone and put it on a very cheap prepaod monthly plan. I take great care in making sure my items are well cared for because I know I do not have the money to pirchase new if broken. I do not beg for things amd do my best to survive on my own with two specail needs children receiving little child support. My children do not deserve to live in garbage because of my short comings. I did not set myself up to have a lavish lifestyle and that is not their fault it is mine. So dont judge people because you go into their home and they have nice things. You dont where how or when those nice things were acquired. It isnot their fault that you lack motivation or feel your to good for used things to get yourself a better lifestly. Like I said Ihave a home full of nice things because I take action to search for good deals and I am not ashamed to have a used product. Stop the hate. If I can survive on little money and very minimal govt assitance and have nicer things than you ots your fault and maybe you should re evaluate your sitiuation and whatvyou consider a necessity And keep in mind the only government assistance I receive is medical for my children and some foodstamps. I do not receive cash assistance rental assistance I do not live in low income housing I do not receive heat or utilities expenses. I manage the little bit of money I do receive very well. My kids have better lifestly than most becauseI am not a lazy person and search for to no cost items and entertaiment ideas. NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYONE UNLESS YOU KNOW THE FULL STORY.

  • Sara

    Didn’t they start this year that every child gets free lunch? Mine do, even the ones that didn’t last year… anyways doesn’t matter, no child should go hungry… if the school has handled it poorly then parents need to go above the principles head and take it to the school district office. People in that school obviously aren’t flowing regulations correctly and it’s not right to summit anyone’s child(ren) to poor morals, they have enough influences at home and shouldn’t have them at school. ..smh schools just aren’t what they used to be…..

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