1) per my kids' school: the school will, AHEAD of time, send a note home to the parents that their child's lunch account is low... like it being at the $5.00 mark. And thus, they REMIND the parents, ahead of time, about it and to send in a check or money for refill their kid's lunch account.
2) Parents, are known.... NOT to do this. Many parents do not... even read anything that their child brings home from school. Many parents do not even, look at their child's planner or homework folder. Many parents, do not even... keep track of what is going on per what is needed for school. This is highly, COMMON.
3) Thus, schools and the Teachers, are stuck. Some parents, even if there is a field trip, do not even... send excursion money for their child, nor do they send their kid to school prepared with a home-lunch or covered shoes on that day. EVEN if reminders were sent home AHEAD OF TIME. Thus, the child then, cannot go on the field trip. It is, the parent's fault... not the school's.
- ETA: AND, many parents, feel that their child should be fully "independent" about things and do things themselves per things required for school/homework etc. Thus, they.do.not.check.their.child'S.school.folder.at.all. and if their child is missing something or does not have things prepared or brought to school, they think their child is at fault and not doing what they are supposed to. But, everyday, kids bring things home that is ALSO for only the parent, to take care of. Adult, parental matters. Like the school lunch account reminders and field trip info and reminders and parental memos and any other things that a parent, SHOULD be doing and looking at and sending to the school FOR their child. But again, many parents do not even keep track nor look at nor reads, what their kids brings home.
4) Per my kids' school... this happens. And it happens to many kids. The parents do not, upkeep or even do, what they are supposed to, per their child's lunch accounts or classroom preparations.
5) At my kids' school: IF a child's lunch account is empty.... and the parent's have NOT sent their child to school with a home-lunch (because this is a parent's responsibility), then, the school will give the child a cup of water and bread or a carb. They cannot however, give the child a WHOLE school lunch... because- KEEP in mind, that each day... the cafeteria only makes a certain count of lunches, and it costs them money, too. They have their school cafeteria budgets etc. AND they cannot just give away lunches, for free. Each day, each morning, there is a headcount of how many kids have a homelunch... thus, the cafeteria knows how many kids will be having school, lunches. Then based on that, the cafeteria makes the lunch plates per that headcount. EACH day. Not even school staff... can have a free, cafeteria lunch if there is extra. EACH plate, is accounted for.
6) Now, per those 25 students you spoke of in your post: they did not get a lunch because their lunch accounts were empty... or they were short on funds. THIS IS THE PARENT'S FAULT. Not the school's. Schools DO inform parents ahead of time, when a child's lunch account is getting low.
AND- if a parent... knows that their child's lunch account is low or if they cannot get a check in to the school for it... THEN IT IS THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY... to make and give their child, a HOME-lunch for that day or week etc.
It is the parent's, responsibility.
A school, well at least my kids' school, they send home EACH month ahead of time, the school menu for an entire month. SO THAT, the parent's can plan, ahead, FOR their child.
AND if a child, does not like a certain menu item, then it is the parent's responsibility to think AHEAD... and give their child a home-lunch for that day.
I work at my kids' school... and everyday, I see kids who DO NOT even eat, the school lunch. Why? Because they say the don't like it. So I tell them.... YOU SHOULD HAVE... known that and your Mom should have given you a homelunch for today, because.... you have the school Menu at home to refer to. AND in these cases, they are wasting money... both for their parent and the school's food/cafeteria budget. Because they are not eating what they have.
So this situation, occurs, too.
AND if a child does have a school lunch to eat, but then refuses to eat it because they don't like it, well they "starve" too. But it is their own, choice. And their parent's, fault. They SHOULD HAVE, brought a home-lunch to school.
And if a kid is choosing not to eat the school lunch because they don't like it... we the school staff, cannot FORCE the child, to eat. And again, they should have... brought a home-lunch to school. Again, it is the parents responsibility. It is not the school that is starving, the child.
It is NOT always, the school's fault.
Parents have a responsibility too. To look after their child's school needs and lunch account levels.
And schools, have a budget. Some days they do not even, have ANY extra, entrees. Either. Even if that is the school Principal. Even a school Principal, has to pay for their school lunch.
And, if a parent does not get or see, the "reminder" memo that is sent home for their child's school lunch account to refill it... THEN the parent also has the responsibility... to call the school and simply ASK the office staff "Hi, can you tell me my child's school lunch account balance?"
To find out, for themselves.