Teacher’s campaign to save kids from “Lunch Shaming”

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Fort Bend County - One Houston area teacher's mission to save kids from the embarrassment of lunch shaming has grown big time in the last day.

“Children should not be held responsible for their parent's debt, that's horrible,” said Christopher Robinson.

Lunch shaming is when a child gets to the end of the school lunch line only to find out their parents haven't been keeping up with their balance.

The kids are forced to trade what they ordered for a bowl of cereal or sometimes a cold cheese sandwich.

After hearing about kids getting alternative lunches in Fort Bend County, Chris Robinson turned to social media for help by creating a Go Fund Me campaign to pay off the debt.

Last year alone, parents in Fort Bend County racked up $400k in lunch debt.

That's a lot of money the district will have to pay down if parents don't step up.

“You have these two sides fighting against each other but you have the kid in the middle who's taking the loss on this, who's being embarrassed on this,” said Robinson.

Many schools across the country allow parents to go in the hole a certain dollar amount before contacting the parent directly. If that fails, the child has to swap for a courtesy lunch when they get to the register.

“Now when you go to eat at your table, the kids are looking at you like man you can't even get a free lunch you had to get this lunch in a brown paper bag,” Robinson said.

Robinson was able to raise about $700 on his Go Fund Me, which he took directly to Fort Bend. He even received a handwritten note from one of the students that benefitted from the action.

This year, after reports of his efforts were published locally and then posted nationally by CNN, Robinson raised $18,000 overnight.

“Now we can go in there and take care of a couple of schools, one, two, three, four, five schools depending on how far we can make this money stretch,” Robinson said.

Crowd funding takes care of some things locally but maybe we might take a second look at turning lunch ladies into pseudo-debt collectors.