Hamilton County school board looks to tackle unpaid school lunch debt, policy

Teriyaki beef and rice with broccoli and a fruit cup are among the choices during lunch Thursday at East Hamilton Middle High School.
photo Photographed in the Times Free Press studio on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn., this typical lunch to pack for school includes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, carrots, a tube of yogurt and a box of apple juice, among other items.

Hamilton County's unpaid school lunch debt might grow while the system ensures students have something to eat at school under a potential board of education policy change.

Currently, students in grades K-8 who have not paid for breakfast or lunch are able to charge the meals to their account and still eat, but students in grades 9-12 have not had that option.

Though the district did not have a board policy for how a student who was unable to pay for lunch was handled, some board members have said that in the past food has been taken away or students have been embarrassed.