Ilhan Omar Proposes Bill to End School Lunch Debt Shaming

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Rep. Ilhan Omar. (Phil Pasquini,

Two Minnesota lawmakers introduced a bill to combat shaming students over school lunch debt. US Representative Ilhan Omar and Senator Tina Smith introduced a bill in June called the No Shame at School Act of 2019. The proposed bill prevents public schools from shaming students who cannot pay for school meals or those students with outstanding debt to the cafeteria. The legislation would also require schools to track a child’s unpaid meal debt and ensure the federal government will reimburse the school meals for up to 90 days, according to a press release about the bill. 

“Everyone knows you can’t learn or perform well when you are hungry. We need to support students in Minnesota and across the country by ensuring that kids are not humiliated because of an inability to pay for lunch,” Smith said. “Lunch shaming can stigmatize low-income students and…

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One comment

  • valerieking325

    Wow, this story so touches my heart. I live in the Twin Cities, and the day Philando was murdered and the outcome of the whole horrible justice failure will never leave my mind. I also helped fund Iihan for her Congressional run and I support her and commend and wish her well. You all saw the welcome she got from the Twin Cities on her return home to Minnesota. We are a progressive state that is now struggling with the same divided America issues now. It’s really really sad. My daughter was on state supported lunches through grade school, as I was self employed and struggling, as was her dad, my husband at the time. She was very embarrassed and would not even tell me when our online account went below zero. The lunch ladies scolded her. I found this out later, now that she is an adult. Tough financial times face everyone (except the very wealthy, which I consider anyone making over 100K a year, all the time. I am a college graduate with a BS, but my pay has not increased in 30 years in relation to the economy and inflation, so we still pay more taxes, work longer hours, for less and less and less. This is one of the many reasons I am so behind the illustrious “Squad” and the progressive women in Congress and the hopeful new first women president! It gives me some hope. Ilhan Ohmar deserves our respect for her earned position from the Minnesota voters and not the disgraceful attacks by the so-called president.

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