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Camdenton Police investigate into stolen lunch money

Imagine sending your children to school with lunch money, only to find out that they came home hungry.

One Camdenton school district parent said a lunch lady stole children’s lunch money and didn’t allow them to eat. Sources told ABC 17 the amount of money embezzled could total $250,000.

“$250,000, that’s a lot of lunch money, that’s a lot of lunches, that’s a lot of kids,” said Nancy Steward, who claims her family was a victim in this case.

A few years ago Steward’s son was a student at Camdenton High School.

Steward said every Monday she’d send him to school with enough money to pay for a week of lunches.

He’d give the money to the woman swiping students’ cards, then the next day that same woman would tell him he didn’t have enough money to eat.

“The woman that was accepting their lunch money and [saying], ‘here, let me have your lunch money.’ and putting it in her pocket was the same woman that said, ‘I’m sorry you have a charge, you don’t get to eat.’ [She took] the tray and dumped it in the trash,” said Steward.

Over the last few weeks, the Camdenton Police Department have been investigating this case and the woman in question has been let go from her job.

Steward said she’s been trying to collect enough signatures to get the state auditor’s office to investigate the district, because she said she wants to know where all the money went.

If each child had just $2 dollars for each lunch, that would amount to 125,000 lunches not eaten.

Steward said, “If you were to go and ask other parents, they and their kids would tell you the same thing.”

After talking with other parents, she’s found many others have had the same problem with their children’s lunch money.

Steward said she just wants to know how someone could be so selfish and to steal food from children’s mouths.

Steward said, “You know, how many were there, how many kids did she impact, how many families went to that school.”

“Parents are asking, ‘What’s happening to my kids’ lunch money?’ It was put back on the kid and the kid didn’t do anything wrong. Because of that, the suspicion was put back over onto that kid. Now a parent thinks their kids are lying to them over lunch money and it was her the whole time!”

If you would like to contact Nancy Steward to sign the petition, her number is (573)280-2579.
She is asking everyone that had signed the previous petition to call her to sign again, because the first document was not correct.

The Camdenton R-3 School District did not want to speak to ABC 17 on camera, however, they did say the suspect has been let go from the school and no longer works there.

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