Ilhan Omar

From the office of:

Ilhan Omar

Sending Office: Honorable Ilhan Omar
Sent By:

Become an Original Cosponsor of the No Shame at School Act

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in introducing the No Shame at School Act. This bill prohibits the stigmatization of any child who is unable to pay school meal fees. All too often, students whose families are struggling to afford school meals are being singled out and humiliated
at lunchtime. These students are subjected to various shaming practices by the schools, such as being branded with stamps, being given cheaper, less appetizing meals than the other students, or even having their lunches thrown away after employees discovered
that they did not have enough money to pay.

Earlier this year, the mother of the late Philando Castile, gave a Minnesota high school $8,000 to settle around 100 students’ lunch debts in honor of her son. Philando was a cafeteria worker who had been known for paying for students’ lunches from his own
pocket if they did not have enough money. The local community also honored that legacy through a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $178,000. But we cannot continue to rely on these isolated cases to support our students. All students, regardless
of socioeconomic status, should have access to lunch at school without the fear of being shamed if they do not have enough money in their account.

My bill, the No Shame at School Act, would prohibit schools from taking any action that stigmatizes students who cannot pay their meal fees. Prohibited practices include any kind of overt identification like tokens or wristbands, publishing a list of children
with outstanding debts,  or using a debt collector to obtain school meal fees. Additionally, my bill would require schools to attempt to certify a child with unpaid meal fees and subsequently allow that school to receive retroactive reimbursement for that
child’s meals for up to 90 days.

Please join me in introducing this important legislation, ensuring that schools are a safe space and that no child is shamed or forced to go hungry.
To become an original cosponsor, please contact Mahyar Sorour ( Deadline to sign on is COB Thursday, June 6th. 


Ilhan Omar

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Budget, Consumer Affairs, Education, Labor

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