The 9@9: Ohio school lunch debt policy; SAPD officer shot on South Side
Saddleback BBQ owners paid off one school district’s lunch debt.
LANSING – Matthew Gillett and Travis Stoliker didn’t think their decision to pay off Mason Public Schools’ existing student lunch debt would start something, but it did. 21 to Mason schools in February, covering the cost of the school district’s lunch debt themselves. Together they’ve paid off over $6,300 worth of school lunch debt at nine area school districts. One gesture sparks moreWhen Jonna Speerbrecker read a post on Saddleback BBQ’s Facebook page about Gillett’s and Stoliker’s donation to Mason schools, it inspired an idea. “What about St. Johns school lunch debt?” she asked her son Spencer, who owns Speer Electric. Less than a week later, Speer Electric had connected with the school district and cut a check for $2,055. The school district’s debt is normally paid off using general fund dollars, St. Johns schools’ Director of Business and Finance Kelly Corbett said. Okemos law firm Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC followed suit, donating more than $500 to pay off lunch debt at Eaton Rapids Public Schools. An uplifting takeawaySaddleback BBQ customer donations of nearly $2,000 made paying off more student lunch debt – in DeWitt, Okemos, Portland, Fowlerville, Morrice and Perry – possible, Stoliker said. Gillett and Stoliker reached out to school districts within 20 miles of their two restaurants. Including Lansing School District and Holt Public Schools, had no lunch debt, Stoliker said. The most recent checks, to Morrice and Perry schools, were mailed off last week.
Rochester mom works to end school lunch debt
ROCHESTER, Minn. – School lunch debt is a problem gaining national attention, especially right here in Minnesota. If you can remember in early November, Richfield High School came under fire after 40 students had their hot lunches taken off their trays and thrown out because of lunch debt. In Rochester, a new online fundraiser is asking for community members to donate to RPS Students who are accruing this debt. According to Rochester Public Schools, there’s $83,730 just in lunch debt. Students with negative lunch account balances will have their balances removed as donations are received. The creator of the fundraiser, Liz Boldon, says some of these students may have been in “Full pay status” before they filled out their free and reduce price lunch application. The Federal and State assistance then works from that point forward. Boldon says it’s a factor no parent should worry about. “I saw on social media some families having some posts and conversations about stresses with finances around this time of the year,” said Boldon. “And lunch debt being one of them. And I really just thought, we can do something about that. That’s a worry that we can help with. So as a community, I am absolutely confident that we can do this.” Once the initial RPS debt is erased, the rest of the funds will go towards kids receiving reduced priced lunches and those who don’t qualify. The fundraiser was started on Sunday and at last check, over $1,896.
Mount Ararat Church pays off lunch debt for hundreds of students
Mount Ararat Church, also known as ‘The Mount’ recently paid off nearly $18,000 in school lunch debt in Spotsylvania County and Stafford County. STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – The Mount Church made a generous donation that will help hundreds of families. With contributions from its members, the church was able to completely pay off the school lunch debt in Spotsylvania County which was a total of about $8,000. In Stafford County, the church was able to contribute another nearly $10,000 toward the lunch debt there. They paid off the negative balance for four elementary schools which include Park Ridge, Kate Waller Barrett, Anne E. Moncure, and Winding Creek. Pastor Jerry Williams dropped off several checks last week. He decided to record a short video to share on Facebook. The video has been shared hundreds of times and has been viewed nearly 15,000 times. “Can you imagine, these hundreds of families that are about to get a call to say we know you owe a few hundred dollars for your lunchroom school debt, well guess what, that debt has been abolished and you don’t owe that debt anymore,” said Williams in his video. Williams tells WUSA9 he made the video at the spur of the moment and was just trying to encourage others to give back as well. He says he is amazed by how the video has taken off. A spokesperson for Stafford County Schools says they are grateful for this act of kindness because it is not something they see happen very often.
Lutz church paying off nearly $40k of student lunch debt in Hillsborough, Pasco counties
Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz is paying off student lunch debt for all juniors and seniors in Hillsborough County Public Schools, and all students K-12 in Pasco County Public Schools. 33 to students in Hillsborough, and $17,000 to eliminate all lunch debt for students in Pasco, the school districts said. Idlewild’s Sr. Pastor, Ken Whitten, says their church community wanted to let families in the area know they have support, even during these uncertain times. The church hopes this generous donation can be a source of hope during the pandemic. “This act of kindness from Idlewild comes at a time when many of our families need additional support to help make ends meet. We deeply appreciate faith-based community partners like Idlewild whose dedication and generosity provide critical support and hope for families across Hillsborough County,” said Superintendent Addison Davis. “We can’t thank Idlewild Baptist Church enough for this generous donation,” said Kurt Browning, Pasco Superintendent of Schools. “This will really make a difference. It will come as a relief to so many families, especially at a time when many are struggling.” Student debt for seniors can have an impact on participation in graduation ceremonies. Now, seniors in both counties will not have to worry about outstanding debt interfering with end-of-year activities thanks to Idlewild’s donation.