CEO Offers to Pay School Lunch Debt So Parents Won’t Have Kids Stolen by CPS, Gov’t Won’t Let Him
A Pennsylvania school district that warned parents behind on their lunch bills that their children could end up in foster care, and then rejected a businessman’s offer to pay the overdue charges, is apologizing and says it wants to accept the donation after all. The Wyoming Valley West school board “Sincerely apologizes for the tone of the letter that was sent regarding lunch debt,” the post on the district’s website Wednesday said. “It wasn’t the intention of the district to harm or inconvenience any of the families in our school district.” Michael Plaksin, president of the Wyoming Valley West Educational Foundation, said the decision to take the donation was made during discussions he had with members of the school board. ADVERTISEMENT.”What is going on is that the school will be able to accept money, donations, so that we will be able to pay off the program as soon as possible,” Plaksin said. District officials had recently written to parents, warning they “Can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food,” and that children could be removed and placed in foster care. Carmichael, the donor, said his offer to pay the bills was rejected by school board President Joseph Mazur during a phone conversation on Monday. State Rep. Aaron Kaufer, who attended district schools and represents the Wyoming Valley West area in the Legislature, said that when he could not get a district official on the phone Wednesday, he went there in person, and that after a long meeting officials told him the district would accept the money, funneled through the foundation. A spokesman for Carmichael, Aren Platt, said that the district’s plan was cause for optimism, but that Carmichael wants all the parents who received the letters to be contacted and told the debt has been paid off. ADVERTISEMENT.”This process has not given us a ton of confidence in the elected school board of Wyoming Valley West,” Platt said. School officials have said they considered serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students with overdue accounts but got legal advice warning against it. For the coming five school years, Wyoming Valley West has funding to provide free breakfasts and lunches for all students, regardless of income.
July 20, 2019.A school district in eastern Pennsylvania faced criticism after sending letters this month to more than three dozen parents warning that if their debt for school meals was not paid, their child could be placed in foster care. “Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without a breakfast and/or lunch,” read the letter, which was signed by Joseph Muth, director of federal programs for the Wyoming Valley West School District. David Usavage, the vice president of the school board, said on Saturday that when he first read the letter, he had thought it was a “Joke.” The parents of the 40 students who owe $10 or more were sent the letter, which has received widespread attention. Mr. Usavage said four students owed more than $440. School meals in the district cost $1 to $2.70.”We educate kids as best we can with what we have,” he said. It’s common for the district to mail letters urging parents to pay debts, but the language has always been “Softer,” he said. The district is made up of seven schools and serves about 5,000 children, Mr. Usavage said. Mr. Usavage said he received about six phone calls complaining about the letter. C. David Pedri, the county manager, wrote the district a letter, noting that foster care should never be viewed as punitive. “So you don’t do it lightly. We would never take a kid out of a house for failing to pay a school lunch bill.” “We’re not the boogey man in the middle of the night coming to take your children out of your house for not paying your school lunch bills.” “I don’t want the people who live in the Wyoming Valley West School District to think we are so classless as to send out a letter threatening parents,” he said.
GoFundMe Community Helps Erase School Lunch Debt
Over the last few years, the GoFundMe community has come together to raise nearly. 750,000 from more than 200 campaigns in an effort to erase school lunch debt. With more than $150,000 raised in 2019 alone, community members across the U.S. continue to raise funds on GoFundMe to help pay off the accounts of children whose families couldn’t afford them. Some of these children would experience “Lunch shaming” when in debt, where they’d be given cold food or even made to wear bracelets that would set them apart from other students. The movement to eliminate lunch debt began with Seattle father Jeff Lew in 2017, w.ho raised more than $50,000 to eliminate the lunch debt in the. Jeff has inspired people across the country to start lunch debt GoFundMe campaigns in their own communities, from a. 6-year-old girl in Idaho. The public continues to take action to wipe out lunch debt all across the country, most recently after the Warwick Public School District. Announced that students with an outstanding lunch balance would not be served the same hot meals offered to their classmates. The community quickly responded, donating over $100,000 in 48 hours, enough to wipe out all Warwick’s lunch debt. Whether they have been inspired by a leader like Jeff Lew or simply frustrated after news reports about lunch debt, people all across the country are turning to GoFundMe to solve a problem in their community. See the fundraisers below to find a GoFundMe in your neighborhood, or start your own.
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