Students in Kansas district will get full meals even if they don't have lunch money

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Leaders of a Kansas school district have approved a new policy that will give full meals to students who don't have lunch money.

The Shawnee Mission School District on Monday voted unanimously to approve plans to provide a multi-item lunch instead of a grilled cheese sandwich and milk -- the provision for students with a negative balance.

WDAF reports that in many cases, the grilled cheese and milk led to bullying from students who had the full meal.

"We don't know the circumstances, so why put the child in that situation?" said , food services director for Shawnee Mission.

The districts food service director, Nancy Coughenour, said there was about $5,800 in unpaid lunch debts last school year.

When the new plan begins next month, parents are still obligated to pay at the end of the year. 

Superintendent Mike Fulton says critical have said the plan will be more expensive a might be abused. 

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