TIFFIN, OH (WTOL) - Last week, WTOL told you how a Rossford family felt their child was being shamed for not being able to pay for a school lunch. WTOL visited a local school district that has a plan in place to make sure their students are never worried about paying for a lunch.
Tiffin City Schools started a new program this school year that not only goes above and beyond what the state mandates are for school lunches, but also it also instills in the students the importance of not wasting food.
After years of turning kids away from the cafeteria and throwing perfectly fine lunches away, the lunch staff at Tiffin Schools had had enough.
"It's hard to take a lunch away from a child and say you can't have a lunch because you don't have money," said Tiffin Middle School food services head Jean Dom.
In 2016, the district established the practice of allowing kids to press a charge button before checking out so the kids can keep the food on their trays, and the balance can be taken care of later.
"We give the parents 30 days and then we send notices, but we're pretty flexible with working with them. We just don't really want the kids to have to worry about what winds up to be an adult problem," said 7th and 8th grade history teacher Ben Gillig.
Also to cut back on waste and offer more food, any unopened items that the students do not want can be placed on a donation tray for any other students to access.
"Because there's a lot of kids that go hungry, so that's just extra food for them instead of throwing it away." said Dom.
"I've seen people divvy up their lunch and share with their friends. And it's just a great way for kids to kind of learn to look out for one another and be a part of the community," said Gillig.
The staff at Tiffin Middle school feel the practice is not only the right thing to do, but can make the school day a little bit more enjoyable.
"Yeah, being in Middle School is hard enough, without worrying about a rumble in your tummy," said Gillig