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Bill Aims To Address Reduced-Lunch Fee Stigma In Schools

A bill making its way through the legislature aims to fix how Arizona schools can address unpaid fees in the lunchroom.

More than 560,000 kids are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. However, stigma around the programs may lead some of these students to opt out.

Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the association of Arizona food banks, says the bill would help alleviate embarrassment for students.

"What’s specifically prohibited is things like announcing the names of children who don’t have money to pay for lunch, stamping their hands or writing on them in some way, making children work for a meal or throwing their meal in the trash.''

The bill offers an alternative to the current methods, by requiring schools to offer an alternative meal and to work out payment plans for the families.

Isabella Hulsizer is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. Hulsizer teaches a class on college readiness at Arizona State University. She has always had a passion for journalism, stemming from her love of making others feel heard.Hulsizer is a Chandler native with tons of pride for all Arizona sports, despite their track record.In her free time, she enjoys hiking, discovering new music, and testing out new coffee shops. She loves all things glitter, and has no shame advocating for the Oxford comma.