South Dakota schools serve cereal for lunch after parents don't pay

Rapid City Area Schools is trying to collect $8,000 in outstanding debt from unpaid school meals.

RAPID CITY, S.D.—Rapid City students whose parents haven't paid their school food bills will have to settle for a bowl of cereal and a carton of milk for lunch if they don't bring food from home for the rest of the school year.

With school closing next Thursday, Rapid City Area Schools is trying to collect approximately $8,000 in outstanding meal debt owed by parents. Those who do not pay up will either have to send their children to school with lunch or have them eat cereal instead of the regular hot lunch.

An automatic calling system at Valley View Elementary School mistakenly notified parents over the weekend that their children would not be served the alternative meal — which is usually a cheese sandwich but will be cereal this time — until additional money is deposited in the student's account.

The district moved to correct that error on Tuesday. "We do not allow and do not want students to miss a meal," Superintendent Tim Mitchell stressed Tuesday. 

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