Pflugerville ISD mother Pamela Zuniga says she can't stop thinking about what she witnessed at Brookhollow Elementary School a few weeks ago.
She was in the breakfast line with her son when she noticed another student who didn't have enough money to pay for food.
Pamela tells us she then saw a cafeteria worker taking the child's cereal away and replacing it with toast. "She started crying. They told her she wasn't going to be able to have cereal that morning and they basically guided her out of the line into the lunch area to sit down to eat her toast," says Pamela.
Pamela says it's an image she can't get out of her mind.
Monday, CBS Austin reached out to Pflugerville ISD about the incident.
A spokesperson sent us this statement:
"Pflugerville ISD is committed to ensuring that all students are provided with the proper nutrition to perform at their best. The district partners with Aramark to provide breakfast and lunch meals for more than 26,000 students daily. While we are disappointed to learn a student may have received an alternative meal due to a shortage in their account, it does, unfortunately, happen on occasion. There are several reasons for limited lunch choices, some of which are determined by parents, and some are due to funding. If students have insufficient funds in their lunch account, they still receive a healthy meal but do not have access to the full host of breakfast and lunch options. Additionally, Aramark continuously accepts Free and Reduced Meals Applications for those students and families in need."
According to Pamela, if a student at a Pflugerville ISD school can't pay for lunch they get toast for breakfast and a cheese sandwich for lunch. "Not a grilled cheese, it's not even melted, it's just a slice of cheese on two pieces of bread," says Pamela.
However, the district offers free and reduced meals for families in need.Parents can apply for this optionat any time during the school year.
Currently, Pflugerville ISD has $14,339.30 in negative food service balances. The district says anyone wishing to donate may contact Aramark Food Services Director Geoff Holle at 512-594-0432.
Additionally, anyone with food-related concerns may contact Mr. Holle directly to facilitate a solution.
Pamela Zuniga says she and other community members have already started a fundraiser to help pay off the district's debt as well as Hutto ISD's lunch debt. If you would like to donateclick here, or contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org.