SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Federal legislation has been introduced by Democratic lawmakers from New Mexico to ensure schools do not stigmatize or cast shame on children as attempts are made to collect lunch debts from parents.

Companion House and Senate bills were introduced Monday that would prohibit schools from singling out children because their parents have not paid school meal bills.

The proposed legislation is sponsored by Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham. It mirrors a New Mexico state law adopted this year that cracks down on “lunch shaming” and outlines application procedures to ensure federally subsidized lunches reach eligible children.

school lunch finger print Efforts To Stop School Lunch Shaming Move To Congress

A student uses a fingerprint scanner to buy lunch (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

The New Mexico-based nonprofit Appleseed developed the original state legislation to help ensure students can eat adequately and avoid any public embarrassment.

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