MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new survey shows a majority of school districts in Minnesota deny hot lunch, and sometimes any lunch, to children who can't pay for it.

Photo by: Adam Bettcher for Free The Children

The report comes after a school in Utah drew criticism for throwing lunches in the trash if students couldn't pay.

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius is calling the report "troubling."  Cassellius is encouraging superintendents to find a way to guarantee a hot lunch for any student who needs one, regardless of their parents' ability or willingness to pay.

The Rochester School District is one of 97 in the state that will not deny lunch to students.

About 62,000 low-income children and teens are in Minnesota's reduced-price lunch program. That means they can get a hot, nutritious lunch for 40 cents, with the rest covered by public funds. But if students don't have 40 cents, some schools deny or downgrade lunches.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid polled 309 school districts for the survey.