Lawmakers To Look At Bills Aimed At Curbing Lunch Shaming In Minn. Schools
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) : State senators and representatives will debate on Thursday legislation aimed at curbing so-called “lunch shaming” policies in Minnesota schools.
Some legal experts define the term as any school district policy that denies meals, bans participation in school activities or punishes kids who have meal debts.
The advocacy groups Hunger Solutions Minnesota and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid released a list of their examples of lunch shaming policies across the state.
Floodwood Policy: “Seniors with negative balances will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.”
Roseville Policy: “Certain privileges (such as participating in extra-curricular activities, receiving a student parking pass or receiving caps and gowns for graduation) may be denied until debt is paid.”
Battle Lake Policy: “If a student has been informed that they are no longer allowed double portions or ala carte items and take them anyway, the student will be assigned detention which may progress to in-school suspension if the behavior continues.”
La Crescent-Hokah Policy: “Middle School: Accounts require prepayment. Students may be given a two day grace period (not to exceed $7) before meals are stopped.”
Minnesota House and Senate members are expected to hear debate regarding the possible legislation on Thursday afternoon.
Whole Senate bill.
A bill for an act
relating to education; prohibiting school lunch providers from shaming students;
requiring meals policies to be posted to school Web sites; creating a supplementary
reserve fund; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 119A.03, subdivision
2; 124D.111; 270A.03, subdivision 2.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 119A.03, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Duties of commissioner.
The commissioner shall:
(1) identify measurable outcomes by which programs administered by the department
will be evaluated at the state and local level;
(2) develop linkages with other state departments to ensure coordination and consistent
state policies promoting healthy development of children and families;
(3) prepare, in consultation with the Children’s Cabinet and affected parties, prior to July
1 of each year, guidelines governing planning, reporting, and other procedural requirements
necessary to administer this chapter;
(4) facilitate inclusive processes when designing or implementing guidelines and strategies
to achieve agency goals for children and families;
(5) facilitate intergovernmental and public-private partnership strategies necessary to
implement this chapter;
(6) submit to the federal government, or provide assistance to local governments and
organizations in submitting, where appropriate and feasible, requests for federal waivers or
recommendations for changes in federal law necessary to carry out the purposes of this
(7) coordinate review of all plans and other documents required under the guidelines
provided for in clause (3);
(8) coordinate development of the management support system components required
for implementation of this chapter;
review other programs serving children and families to determine the feasibility
for transfer to the Department of Education or the feasibility of inclusion in the funding
consolidation process; and
(10) monitor local compliance with this chapter.
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 124D.111, is amended to read:
124D.111 LUNCH AID; FOOD SERVICE
School lunch aid computation .
Each school year, the state must pay participants
in the national school lunch program the amount of 12.5 cents for each full paid and free
student lunch and 52.5 cents for each reduced-price lunch served to students.
A school district, charter school, nonpublic school, or other
participant in the national school lunch program shall apply to the department for this
payment on forms provided by the department.
Federal child and adult care food program; criteria and notice.
commissioner must post on the department’s Web site eligibility criteria and application
information for nonprofit organizations interested in applying to the commissioner for
approval as a multisite sponsoring organization under the federal child and adult care food
program. The posted criteria and information must inform interested nonprofit organizations
(1) the criteria the commissioner uses to approve or disapprove an application, including
how an applicant demonstrates financial viability for the Minnesota program, among other
(2) the commissioner’s process and time line for notifying an applicant when its
application is approved or disapproved and, if the application is disapproved, the explanation
the commissioner provides to the applicant; and
(3) any appeal or other recourse available to a disapproved applicant.
School food service fund.
(a) The expenses described in this subdivision must
be recorded as provided in this subdivision.
(b) In each district, the expenses for a school food service program for pupils must be
attributed to a school food service fund. Under a food service program, the school food
service may prepare or serve milk, meals, or snacks in connection with school or community
(c) Revenues and expenditures for food service activities must be recorded in the food
service fund. The costs of processing applications, accounting for meals, preparing and
serving food, providing kitchen custodial services, and other expenses involving the preparing
of meals or the kitchen section of the lunchroom may be charged to the food service fund
or to the general fund of the district. The costs of lunchroom supervision, lunchroom custodial
services, lunchroom utilities, and other administrative costs of the food service program
must be charged to the general fund.
That portion of superintendent and fiscal manager costs that can be documented as
attributable to the food service program may be charged to the food service fund provided
that the school district does not employ or contract with a food service director or other
individual who manages the food service program, or food service management company.
If the cost of the superintendent or fiscal manager is charged to the food service fund, the
charge must be at a wage rate not to exceed the statewide average for food service directors
as determined by the department.
(d) Capital expenditures for the purchase of food service equipment must be made from
the general fund and not the food service fund, unless the restricted balance in the food
service fund at the end of the last fiscal year is greater than the cost of the equipment to be
(e) If the condition set out in paragraph (d) applies, the equipment may be purchased
from the food service fund.
(f) If a deficit in the food service fund exists at the end of a fiscal year, and the deficit
is not eliminated by revenues from food service operations in the next fiscal year, then the
deficit must be eliminated by a permanent fund transfer from the general fund at the end of
that second fiscal year. However, if a district contracts with a food service management
company during the period in which the deficit has accrued, the deficit must be eliminated
by a payment from the food service management company.
(g) Notwithstanding paragraph (f), a district may incur a deficit in the food service fund
for up to three years without making the permanent transfer if the district submits to the
commissioner by January 1 of the second fiscal year a plan for eliminating that deficit at
the end of the third fiscal year.
(h) If a surplus in the food service fund exists at the end of a fiscal year for three
successive years, a district may recode for that fiscal year the costs of lunchroom supervision,
lunchroom custodial services, lunchroom utilities, and other administrative costs of the food
service program charged to the general fund according to paragraph (c) and charge those
costs to the food service fund in a total amount not to exceed the amount of surplus in the
food service fund.
A participant that receives school lunch aid under this section must
make lunch available without charge to all participating students who qualify for free or
The participant must also ensure that any reminders for payment of outstanding student meal balances do not demean
or stigmatize any child participating in the school lunch program.
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 270A.03, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
“Claimant agency” means any state agency, as defined by
section 14.02, subdivision 2, the regents of the University of Minnesota, any district court
of the state, any county, any statutory or home rule charter city, including a city that is
presenting a claim for a municipal hospital or a public library or a municipal ambulance
service, a hospital district, a private nonprofit hospital that leases its building from the county
or city in which it is located, any ambulance service licensed under chapter 144E, any public
agency responsible for child support enforcement, any public agency responsible for the
collection of court-ordered restitution, and any public agency established
by general or special law that is responsible for the administration of a low-income housing
Read full Bill Here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/