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Tucson Unified School District Caps Student Meals At Two Per Day

The Tucson Unified School District has placed a cap on the number of meals students can order and charge to their accounts in an effort to avoid up to $1 million in unpaid lunch debt.

The federal Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017 was designed to provide school children with meals regardless of their ability to pay.

Before the law, the Tucson school district had about $25,000 in unpaid lunch debt. But over the past few years, it has had to shoulder hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt because students no longer have a meal order limit.

Starting March 1, TUSD is once again limiting students to two meals a day.

"We work diligently every day to provide nutritious meals to our students, but we also are charged with maintaining the physical responsibility of our federal meal programs," said Lindsay Aguilar, food services coordinator for the district.

Students who exceed the meal limit will still have access to alternatives of bagels, grilled cheese, cheese sticks and fruit depending on their grade level.

Harry Croton was an intern at KJZZ in 2020.