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Utah school district apologizes for tossing meals

SALT LAKE CITY — A school district apologized Thursday to outraged parents after about 30 students at a Salt Lake City school had their lunches thrown out because of outstanding balances on their food accounts.

School District spokesman Jason Olsen said the district is investigating what happened at Uintah Elementary. ‘‘This was a mistake. This was handled wrong,’’ Olsen said .

Erica Lukes said her 11-year-old daughter came home Tuesday and reported that officials had taken away her pizza and thrown it out. The action was ‘‘humiliating and demoralizing,’’ Lukes said.

Students were given their lunches and then went to a pay station where their accounts were checked, Olsen said. Students whose lunches were thrown out were given milk and fruit, a standard practice when students don’t have lunch money, he said.

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Officials started notifying parents Monday that children were behind on the payments.

Associated Press