"I realize I didn't have to do that but I don't want another kid going through what my son went through," Amanda Keown told CNN affiliate WBND.
The total amount she had to fork over was less than $100 -- a price she said was totally worth it to save other students from going through what her son, Dominic Gant, experienced.
"It was really embarrassing, especially in front of the whole class," Gant told WBND. The junior said his lunch was taken away by school officials right after it was served to him, all because he had an outstanding balance of less than $5 in his account.
HLN has reached out to Dowagiac Union Schools but has yet to receive a comment. The principal of Dowagiac Union High School spoke to WBND and said that the teen shouldn't have gone hungry.
"There's no reason why a student should ever go without lunch, even if they have overdrawn their account. They can seek out one of the adults in the lunchroom and ask for permission to charge for another day," Pieter Hoekstra said.
Hoekstra explained that a private contractor runs the lunch program so there isn't much flexibility with payments because if the accounts go unpaid, the school is left holding the bill. He also said that the school regularly communicates with parents about the balances left on their kids' lunch accounts.
Image: Cafeteria hot lunch, via Shutterstock