While the way this was done is disgusting and traumatising to the students involved, I can’t help but wonder when it became mandatory to serve hot lunches at school? Generations of children took brown bag lunches or carried lunch boxes with enough food for the day. We all survived quite handily.
There were children whose families were very poor in our small farming community, but this was dealt with quietly and unobtrusively with brown bag lunches being donated and handed out as needed. Generally, we all shared anyway. I know that I certainly thought the jam sandwich my friend brought was waaaaaaaaay more interesting than the ham sandwich in my lunch (there’s no accounting for kids’ tastes!).
People need help. I get that and I’m certainly not opposed to schools providing lunch for those who would have to do without. It just seems that mandating these services creates exactly the scenario in the post. It’s no longer about the need of the children, it’s about money, rules, and enforcement.