"When 8-year-old Cayden Taipalus saw that some of this fellow classmates at school were forced to forgo hot meals because their lunch account balances had dipped into the negative, he came home upset. His school’s policy was to allow students to go $5 into the negative before replacing their regular hot meals with cheese sandwiches and milk, according to Tom Gould, director of public relations for the Howell Public School District where Cayden attends.

“Like a lot of districts, we use accounts where parents add money to their students’ accounts,” Gould said, explaining that parents are notified when their child has a negative balance.

But it’s a problem that faces many students, with some children’s parents unable to afford to ever get them out of the negative. When he got home from school that day, he told his mother that he felt like it was unfair that some kids weren’t being served hot meals and instead had to eat cheese sandwiches because their lunch accounts had no money in them.

“I just want to make kids have a better lunch,” he told"

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