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Salt Lake City School Board to Seek External Audit of School Lunch Issue

File: School Lunch Tray Credit Casey Bisson/Flickr

The Salt Lake City School Board plans to discuss tonight how to move forward with an outside investigation into the seizure of more than 30 school lunches from Uintah Elementary School. The decision comes as the district’s human resources department continues its ongoing probe into the incident.

The district came under fire in January when cafeteria workers threw out the lunches of students who had negative account balances. The school’s cafeteria manager and the district’s child nutrition department head were placed on paid administrative leave for several days and have since been reinstated but district officials have yet to say who made the decision to take the lunches and what actions should be taken against those responsible. 

Heather Bennett, Vice President of the Salt Lake City School Board says an outside audit into the incident should ease concerns.

“It has become clear that there are some individuals who still are not satisfied, so we think it’s important to initiate this audit, to do the best we can to ensure the public trust,” Bennett says. 

Bennett says the board will likely take a look at the internal investigation, voice any concerns about the process and consider the details related to an external audit, including the potential cost.

“Typically we don’t take votes in our study sessions, so moving forward; I think we’ll just take the temperature of the board, and see how we might then proceed to get this resolved as quickly as possible,” Bennett says.

District officials have apologized for the incident and they’ve changed the lunch policy to serve all students full meals, including students who have negative account balances. They say they’ve also forbid cafeteria workers from discussing account balances with students. 

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