St Leonards mum ‘disgusted’ by Brede school lunch policy

Sammy-Jo Wren was given a piece of bread and some fruit because her mum Jodie White accidentally forgot to pay. Photo by Ms White
Sammy-Jo Wren was given a piece of bread and some fruit because her mum Jodie White accidentally forgot to pay. Photo by Ms White
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A St Leonards mother is ‘disgusted’ by Brede Primary School after her daughter was offered a piece of bread when her lunch money was not paid on time.

Jodie White, of Kent Road, forgot to pay for Sammy-Jo Wren’s lunches which left the nine-year-old ‘starving’ on Monday (February 22).

The school claims parents are well aware of the policy but Ms White disagrees as she did not know all her daughter would be given was some bread and fruit.

“I forgot to pay just one day of my daughter’s school lunch, which was a genuine mistake, and they refused to feed my child and gave her a piece of bread with no butter,” she said.

“They made no effort to contact me asking me to provide a lunch for her and just allowed her to starve.

“I don’t know of any other school that does this and I find it appalling.”

Head teacher Nicole Cummins said the policy has been in place for a number of months and parents can pay online.

“The school runs an online payment system for meals or accepts advance cash payments,” she said.

“When a parent makes no arrangements for lunch, a child will be offered bread and fruit.

“All parents are aware of this policy which has been operating for a number of months.”

Ms White believes the school unnecessarily punished her child for her mistake and thinks the policy is wrong.

“There is major uproar in society at the moment regarding children not being fed properly by parents in the morning which is affecting their focus and their education,” she said.

“And I have my child’s school refusing to feed her a meal all because I forgot to pay for one day when there was plenty of food.”

Ms White said the school did not tell her Sammy-Jo had not had a proper lunch and she only found out when the Year Four pupil told her.

Sammy-Jo’s grandfather has written to the school offering to pay for 10 lunches in advance so any other children do not go hungry if their parents accidentally forget to pay.

“When I approached the school, they said it’s their policy and a child will be offered a piece of fruit or bread,” she said.

“This is not a sufficient diet for a child who is supposed to be learning. I as a person could not last a day on just a single piece of bread so I don’t know how they expect a child to be okay on that.”

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