Buffalo dad and daughter raise money to fight lunch shaming

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lunch shaming, as it’s commonly known, happens when kids get ridiculed for not being able to pay for lunch, while others get singled out for eating free or reduced price meals.

News 4 spoke with a father and daughter who are trying to fight against the shaming.

They’ve started a Go-Fund-Me page to raise money for people who can’t pay for a hot lunch, in hopes of raising money for a lunch for everyone in school.

Anna Zobrist, a 6-year-old and second grade student at the Charter School for Applied Technology, started the page with her dad called “Anna wants to help”.

Anna says her friends would say to her “I’m so hungry” everyday.

“It makes me sad too, because I just really really want to help them, I really want to reach our goal,” said Anna.

Anna’s Dad, David, says lunch shaming isn’t an issue at her school.

But he fears they’re walking away from the lunch table still hungry.

“All through the day, they’re probably thinking about being hungry, their tummies are aching and I can’t imagine her going through like that,” said David Zobrist.

Stories of stamped arms and tossing hot lunches in the trash have made lunch shaming headlines across the country.

Many states have laws preventing those incidents.

New York state has legislation circulating right now, but many say there’s only so much a law will do to stop it.

Nicole Clark, a supervisor for Child and Family Services, says lunch shaming can have a huge impact on a student’s future.

“If I’m really sad or feel hopeless or afraid then that could definitely set the tone for me not enjoying school for the rest of my education,” said Clark.

Clark encourages parents to talk to their kids if it happens to them.


In the meantime, Anna is hoping to raise $1,500.00 to pay for a hot lunch for everyone in school.I

“At least that day, every kid will get a hot lunch. I know it sounds weird but to me, that’s what’s important. Plus for her it’s teaching her how to be helpful. It won’t change the world. But it’ll change her idea,” said David.

“I’m glad that I’ll be able to help them,” said Anna.