Incidents of lunch debt shaming prompt legislation

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

After various instances of school lunch debt shaming around the state in places like Cherry Hill and Ocean and Monmouth Counties, lawmakers are taking action.

A bill from Democratic Sen. Teresa Ruiz would help more kids get free lunch by allocating $4.5 million to pay for reduced-price lunches, which cost 40 cents. Republican Assemblyman Ned Thompson says a bill he’s introduced would prohibit any type of embarrassment for kids who have lunch debt.

On Thursday, Ruiz’s was released from the Senate Education Committee. It’s now headed to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.