The Salt Lake City School District said it was a mistake and officials are investigating.
The lunches costing $2 were taken from the children on Tuesday as they arrived at a pay station after cafeteria workers had given them the food.
Parent Erica Lukes said the action was humiliating and demoralizing for students.
District spokesman Jason Olsen said the move came after the district realized a lot of students at Uintah Elementary owed money for previous lunches.
Olsen said lunches were thrown out because they couldn’t be served to another student. Students whose lunches were taken away were given fruit and milk.
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