It's perhaps the most perplexing issue facing K-12 foodservcie operators: how do you handle kids whose lunch accounts are overdrawn but who don't qualify for government subsidized meals? Many schools paper over the problem by providing at least younger students with minimal meals such as cheese or peanut butter sandwiches.
An extensive article by Dana Woldow, a child nutrition advocate, explores the issue and suggests alternatives that are already being tried in some districts, including withholding report cards or even diplomas, or barring students with overdrawn accounts from participating in school activities. The article appears in BeyondChron, a Bay Area alternative newspaper,
See the full story here, at Clearing Cafeteria Debt Without Shaming Children.