Iowa - Unpaid meal charge policy--supports students: Program requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law establishes a policy regarding unpaid meal charges that prohibits shaming and/or denying meals.

Iowa Code 283A.11 Participation by students - school prohibitions and responsibilities.

  1. A school is encouraged to provide a reimbursable meal, as specified under regulations promulgated by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-296,to a student who requests a reimbursable meal unless the student's parent or guardian has specifically provided written direction to the school to withhold a meal from the student.
  2. a. A school is prohibited from posting a list of students who owe money for school meals and from engaging in any of the following acts directed toward a student because the student cannot pay for a meal or owes a meal debt:
    • (1) Publicly identifying or stigmatizing the student, including but not limited to requiring the student to consume the meal at a table set aside for such purpose or to discard a meal after the meal has been served.
    • (2) Requiring the student to wear a wristband, hand stamp, or identification marks, or to do chores or other work to pay for meals.
    • (3) Denying participation in an afterschool program or other extracurricular activity to the student.
    • (4) Providing an alternative meal that is only offered to a student who has accrued meal debt. A school that offers the option of an alternative meal shall present the meal in the same manner to any student requesting an alternative meal so as not to identify a student as having accrued meal debt.
  • b. A school shall direct communications about a student's meal debt to a parent or guardian and may discreetly provide information about the student's meal account to the student as long as the communication with the student does not violate paragraph “a”. This paragraph does not prohibit a school from sending a letter home with a student addressed to the student's parent or guardian, or from contacting the parent or guardian via phone or other electronic means.

Iowa Code 283A.11 Participation by students - school prohibitions and responsibilities.

  1. A school is encouraged to provide a reimbursable meal, as specified under regulations promulgated by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-296,to a student who requests a reimbursable meal unless the student's parent or guardian has specifically provided written direction to the school to withhold a meal from the student.
  2. a. A school is prohibited from posting a list of students who owe money for school meals and from engaging in any of the following acts directed toward a student because the student cannot pay for a meal or owes a meal debt:
    • (1) Publicly identifying or stigmatizing the student, including but not limited to requiring the student to consume the meal at a table set aside for such purpose or to discard a meal after the meal has been served.
    • (2) Requiring the student to wear a wristband, hand stamp, or identification marks, or to do chores or other work to pay for meals.
    • (3) Denying participation in an afterschool program or other extracurricular activity to the student.
    • (4) Providing an alternative meal that is only offered to a student who has accrued meal debt. A school that offers the option of an alternative meal shall present the meal in the same manner to any student requesting an alternative meal so as not to identify a student as having accrued meal debt.
  • b. A school shall direct communications about a student's meal debt to a parent or guardian and may discreetly provide information about the student's meal account to the student as long as the communication with the student does not violate paragraph “a”. This paragraph does not prohibit a school from sending a letter home with a student addressed to the student's parent or guardian, or from contacting the parent or guardian via phone or other electronic means.
Policy Links: