automatic News for 05-25-2019

Online fundraiser helps pay off school lunch debt in Norfolk

Blue Cross NC to Help Eliminate School Lunch Debt in Piedmont

Blue Cross NC will give $159,000 toward school lunch debts in five Piedmont counties. DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is helping eliminate school lunch debt in the Piedmont. The investment is part of Blue Cross NC’s commitment to create a healthier state, by helping children facing food insecurity access the nutrition needed for growth and development. The funds will go toward their efforts to provide and expand school meals for children who lack access to affordable, healthy food. A 2016 Gallup poll commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center ranked the Greensboro-High Point area among the hungriest in the country. 

In the same study, Winston-Salem was ranked 14 for worst food hardship rate. Statewide, 57 percent of children in North Carolina public schools are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches. As of December 2017, nearly 870,000 children ate school-provided lunches in North Carolina. This makes North Carolina the seventh largest school nutrition program in the country, with almost 1 in 4 children facing food insecurity in northwest North Carolina. About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. 

Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 

Keywords: [“Blue”,”Cross”,”Carolina”]

By Allison Slater Tate.One Seattle dad is determined to make sure no school child in the state of Washington has to face the humiliation of carrying a lunch debt. Jeffrey Lew, who was born and raised in Seattle and works in a local government agency there, first learned about the issue with children across the country who can’t pay for their school lunches when he read an article about it online. Many schools will also take lunches away from children who can’t pay, or they trade out the hot lunch for an alternative cold lunch for those children. Lew started by finding out the lunch debt at his own son’s school: $97.10. In May, Lew created a Go Fund Me campaign to attempt to pay off all the school lunch debt in Seattle Public Schools, which was no small feat – The lunch debt in Seattle Public Schools at that time was $20,531. 

Lew met his fundraising goal of $50,000 and then some, so then he decided to do the same for the surrounding school districts in Tacoma, Spokane, Renton, and Clover Park. He has now paid off over $100,000 worth of debt in the five school districts. Lew continued to research and contact more school districts to find out what their lunch debts total. He and a friend, Stephen Medawar, created the website to support larger lunch debt resolution campaigns across the country. Last week, the two launched a new campaign with the goal of eliminating student lunch debt for the entire state of Washington. 

Though he’s not sure erasing student lunch debt for an entire state has ever been done before, Lew said he is confident they will accomplish this as well. To help eliminate student lunch debt in the state of Washington, contribute to the Go Fund Me campaign here. 

Keywords: [“lunch”,”school”,”debt”]

Austin 14-year-old wants to pay off all $19K of AISD’s lunch debt

AUSTIN – An Austin eighth-grader is determined to pay off all $19,000 worth of Austin Independent School District’s school lunch debt. It all started with a school project Ben Hofer was assigned at his school, St. Andrews Episcopal. While he was looking for the perfect one, he stumbled upon school lunch debt. He created a GoFundMe in January with the goal of paying off the school lunch debt at three schools in the Austin Independent School District: Akins High School, Paredes Middle School and Blazier Elementary. 

He chose those schools because an AISD representative told him that these schools had the highest amount of debt for elementary, middle and high school. At last report, AISD as a whole had about $19,000 in school lunch debt. There are about 43 schools in the district that currently serve lunch free to all students through a federal grant, but that number will grow to 83 next school year. Akins High School, Paredes Middle School and Blazier Elementary – the schools Hofer is raising money for – are among those that will start serving free lunch to students in the 2019-20 school year. If families need help with paying for lunch, the district will work with the campus parent support specialist to help parents fill out a meal benefit application. 

AISD also has a giving tree that allows people to donate money to pay off school lunch debt, and they hope the money Hofer raises will go toward this as well. On May 14, he will show off his project at his school’s Civics Fair, which will include all of his other grade’s projects. It is open to the public, and it is scheduled to be at 2:15 p.m. at St. Andrews Middle School. 

Keywords: [“School”,”lunch”,”student”]

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