Recently, in Fargo, a group of well-meaning people raised some $4,000 as a way to help address the roughly $30,000 in school lunch debt accumulated in the local public school system.

What these folks did is commendable. This sort of altruism, which has been making headlines both in North Dakota and across the nation, isn’t the solution to the school lunch debt problem.

Parents need to be responsible for paying for their kids to eat.

To be clear, the kids should always get to eat, no matter the status of their school lunch account. They shouldn’t have their lunch thrown in the garbage if they can’t pay. They shouldn’t get a sort of scarlet letter stamped on their hands. They shouldn’t get some lame alternate meal, or be blocked from extracurricular activities, or threatened with foster care.

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