9-year-old has hot lunch taken away from him on his birthday because he owed the school $9.75

When he got off the bus, he told his grandmother it was ‘worst birthday ever’.

The Ohio school district changed its lunch policy after a student had his hot meal taken over a $9.75 unpaid balance.

According to the student’s grandma, the incident occurred on his birthday, Aug. 30.

That day staff at Green Primary School in Uniontown, Ohio, took Jefferson Sharpnack’s hot lunch away and replaced it with a cheese sandwich, a side dish and a serving of milk since he had a lunch debt of $9.75.

The 9-year-old boy confessed the incident left him “a little hurt.”

And the boy wasn’t the only one who was upset about what happened. “I can’t believe that it’s cost-effective to throw away food and give them cheese and bread,” Sharpnack’s grandmother, Diane Bailey, said. “When he got off the bus, he said ‘worst birthday ever.'”

Since then, the district has responded to the story by implementing an immediate district-wide change to their policy. The district shared the following message on Facebook:

“All students enrolled in PreK through 12th grades will receive the standard lunch for the day at their respective buildings regardless of their account balance,” the statement read in part. “We are sensitive to the financial hardship families incur and challenges presented due to the cost of school breakfast and lunches. Our staff, in coordination with Family Support Specialists, will continue to work with families to ensure they have access to all available resources to assist with purchasing school meals.”

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