SALT LAKE CITY — A few dozen students at Uintah Elementary School in the Salt Lake City School District went without lunch Tuesday after they were told they did not have enough money in their school accounts.
"We were all blind-sided," said Erica Lukes, a parent who said her account was paid.
When students went through the lunch line with trays in hand, many did not make it past the pay station. The district confirmed 30 to 40 had their trays taken away because they couldn't pay. They were given fruit and a milk instead. The district apologized Wednesday.
Fifth-grader Sophia Isom, Lukes' daughter, was met by a district nutrition manager who was monitoring accounts.
"So she took my lunch away and said, 'Go get a milk,’ ” Sophia said. "I came back and asked, 'What's going on?' Then she handed me an orange. She said, 'You don't have any money in your account so you can't get lunch.’ ”
She said the food was being thrown out. Sophia said the same thing happened to many students, and it was the talk of the lunch period.
"There were lots of tears, and it was pretty upsetting for them," said Lukes.