Administrators in Warwick, Rhode Island are facing blowback after they proposed that children with unpaid school lunch debt be given only sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches to eat, instead of hot meals.

In response, the CEO of the yogurt company Chobani, Hamdi Ulukaya, donated nearly $50,000 to the school to help mitigate student lunch debt, and other donations have rolled in as well. The district has since decided not to move forward with the proposal.

Joining Boston Public Radio to weigh in on this was Corby Kummer, a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.

Kummer said the proposal was misguided because it singles out kids whose families have difficulty paying for meals.

"They're shaming kids," Kummer said.

Kummer pointed to a federal program rolled out during the Obama Administration providing free school lunch in select districts to all kids, regardless of their family's income level. In order to qualify, districts had to have a certain percentage of low-income families. Participating cities include Atlanta, Chicago and Boston.

Proponents of the program said it leveled the playing field by making it difficult for students to tell who among them was receiving assistance.

"The whole story reminds me that universal free lunch, which is called for by lots of dreamers and idealists, is the way," Kummer said.