Outline of the state of Arkansas
Prohibits denying meals

Unpaid Meal Charge Policy—Supports Students

Unpaid Meal Charge Policy—Supports Students

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

Arkansas Code 6-18-715 Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights Act - Definition

(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights Act”.

(b) As used in this section, “school” means a tax-supported kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) public school that participates in the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program.

(c) A school shall not:

  • (1) Provide a student requesting a meal or snack under this section a meal or snack that is different from the meal or snack being provided to other students in the school; or

  • (2)Prevent a student from accessing the school's meal or snack services.

(d) If a student owes money for a meal or snack that is in excess of the amount charged a student for five (5) lunches, or another amount as determined by the student's school district, a school may contact the parent or guardian of the student to:

  • (1) Attempt collection of the owed money; and

  • (2) Request that the parent or guardian apply for meal benefits in a federal or state child nutrition program.

(e) If a student is unable to pay for a meal or snack or owes money for a meal or snack, a school shall not:

  • (1) Require the student to wear a wristband;

  • (2) Give the student a hand stamp;

  • (3) Require the student to dispose of a meal or snack after the student is served the meal or snack;

  • (4) Require the student to sit in a location separate from other students;

  • (5) Publicly make known the name of the student; or

  • (6) Perform any other action that may stigmatize the student.

Policy Type