Instead of making a profit in the lunch room, an audit revealed Columbia School District's lunch services was costing them money.
"We have to watch every penny and this unpaid lunch charges was into the thousands of dollars from last year," Superintendent Kenneth Klawitter said. "We just can't ignore it."
District officials said they've offered free and reduced lunch applications, but parents aren't forking over the money they owe.
"We suspect that some parents are just lax and forget to send it, we suspect that some parents do have a situational problem," Klawitter said.
In an attempt to collect, parents were told that if their child has more than five unpaid lunches they will be put in lunch detention and served either a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich.
"My first reaction was 'oh my gosh, not every child is going to be able to eat,' " Melissa Howe said.
Howe has children in the school district and disagrees with the new policy.
"I think the school should be taking it out on the parents and fining the parents instead of taking it out on the children," she said.
With thousands of dollars still unaccounted for, some say the district has no choice.
"They should pay, but if they don't have the funds right now they should at least give them the time to do what they need to do," Charles Walstrum said.
The new lunch policy will start at the high school only on Nov. 4.
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