In this commentary, Patricia Montague, chief executive officer of the School Nutrition Association, speaks out about the importance of compassionate policies for students who cannot pay for school meals. The article comes amid reports about controversial actions to address unpaid meal debt in some schools in Utah, Texas and New Jersey. "Although every incident is different, each of these 'unpaid meal charge' stories indicates a broad and growing national problem," she writes. "Left unaddressed, these situations reach beyond the cafeteria, potentially threatening district education funds and resources."

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