Group that helped ban lunch shaming to hold fundraiser

Erica Zucco
August 16, 2017 08:11 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- As students head back to school, many of them will rely on cafeteria lunches to get them through the day. New Mexico Appleseed says this year, getting those lunches will be less stressful for a lot of them.


NM Appleseed says in the past, some students whose parents had unpaid lunch bills were given alternative lunches, or forced by schools to do clean-up work in order to get their food.

"We just couldn't stomach another year of children going through that, so NM Appleseed identified the problem, which we've been working on a long time, and created legislation to prohibit any type of shaming with respect to school meal debt," said NM Appleseed executive director Jennifer Ramo.

NM Appleseed worked with lawmakers to get an act passed mandating that if a student has unpaid lunch bills, the school must work with either parents to get the bill paid, or federal programs to get costs covered.

"Now no matter what your parents owe, you're going to get your meal and you will not be shamed in any way," Ramo said. "You won't have to clean the cafeteria, you won't have to throw food out. It just really takes the burden off the children in terms of paying a debt they have no ability to pay."

Ending hunger is just part of NM Appleseed’s mission to pull families out of poverty. The group is  holding a playhouse auction fundraiser event on August 25 to help continue their work. To learn more about how you can help, visit


Erica Zucco

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