A bill designed to ban so-called "food shaming" by local school districts passed overwhelmingly in the Iowa House Thursday.
The bill addresses recent stories about students receiving "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches", or having their student lunch record cards flagged as past due in an attempt to get the balances paid. Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquart (D-Cedar Rapids) also said some districts are posting the names of students with past due accounts on the wall at school, or forcing all students with past due accounts to sit together.
The legislation says unpaid account balances are to be placed in a special account in the district, and authorizes schools to get private donations to pay off those balances.
Under the bill, schools would not be required to provide a meal to a student whose balance was in arrears, but are "encouraged" to do so.
It passed on a 97 to nothing vote and heads to the Iowa Senate