Student refused school lunch after being short 15 cents

University High School student claims worker threw meal away

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – A student at University High School said a lack of 15 cents prevented her from getting lunch on her first day of school.

Her mother, Kimberly Aiken, said it happened to her sophomore daughter on Tuesday.

"She puts her food on the tray, gets to the front, gives her number to the cashier, and she says, 'Well, you owe 15 cents,'" she said. "My daughter said she didn't have any money, so the cashier took her food."

Aiken said the cafeteria worker threw away the food, and her daughter spent her first day at school without food.

"That's the big thing -- it's eat breakfast, lunch, so that they can make sure that they're doing good on their work," she said. "But then you starve my child?"

Aiken said she signed up for the free and reduced-cost lunch program, but it has not taken effect yet. She said the 15-cent deficit in her account must have been carried over from last year.

Roger Edgcomb, a spokesman for Volusia County Public Schools, responded to questions asking if this was standard procedure.

"The school is always willing to work with students and families as needed," he said. "The school will be contacting the family directly to help resolve this issue."

"You want to make sure that your kids are coming to school, and they're going to be taken care of," Aiken said. "We already have all of the scary things happening, but the one thing you don't want them to worry about is are they going to be able to eat when they go to lunch."

Her daughter said she brought a quarter to school on Wednesday to make up for the shortage, and the cafeteria worker told her everything was taken care of, and she didn't owe anything.​

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.