Food taken off boy's lunch tray over $9 debt
Utah Strong: Provo student pays over $8 thousand of student lunch debt
PROVO, Utah – One Provo student is stepping outside of her social media comfort zone to pay it forward in a new way. Jade Viveiros, Junior at Timpview High School raised money to pay off her own district’s school lunch debt. Viveiros says her realization of students not having lunch started three months ago when her younger sister came home from school with a story. “My little sister came home from school one day and talked about how a little boy in her class forgot his lunch money, so he couldn’t pay for his lunch that day,” she said. Viveiros said her sister and classmates all pitched in to make this student a lunch. “What happens if that kid doesn’t get lunch that day?”. Viveiros said this got her thinking “What can I do?” So, she called Provo City School District and asked what their outstanding school lunch debt was. “I found out it was around $17,000” Viveiros says. “Sometimes I think some kids are getting negative results and feedback from social media, so I was a little bit nervous to first share it. But then when I shared it and got all this positive feedback, I was super surprised,” she said. Viveiros says it was amazing to see her community come together. She earned $8,600 in a month and presented the check to the Provo City School District Tuesday night at a board meeting. Viveiros says she’s been completely blown away by the love and support that she’s received from her community.
Bill proposed to eliminate school lunch debt for low-income students in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. A new bill submitted in California would eliminate school lunch debt for low-income students. “It makes absolutely no sense that we are making poor kids pay for school lunches. While we provide meals to inmates, debt-free, low-income students are forced to incur a debt for a reduced school meal,” Rivas said. “Every penny counts for California’s working families, especially during these financially strenuous times. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of hard-working parents continue to lose their jobs and see their savings vanish. When students return to school, we should not burden them with debt when they cannot afford to pay for lunch.” According to Rivas, the National School Lunch Program makes sure that every student has access to a meal, even if they are provided for free or at a reduced price. She said families need to earn between 130% and 185% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for reduced price meals, but the students need to make a copayment or go into debt if they cannot pay upfront. Rivas said a family of four bringing in between $34,059 and $48,470 must take on the cost for their child to receive a meal. She says the bill, AB 508, will ease financial strain and make sure children do not go hungry over concerns about debt. The bill is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association.
Understanding School Lunch Debt in Fairfax County
Recently, the issue of school lunch debt in Fairfax and other counties has garnered increasing attention. No one likes the thought of students being denied access to food. FCPS has a strict policy that prohibits the practice of “Lunch shaming” or denying food to a student whose school lunch account is in arrears. Instead, the FCPS Food and Nutrition Services office is required by law to communicate directly with parents, not students, to notify them of outstanding balances. Lunch debt accrues due to a number of factors, including simple oversight, but it is not related to students who currently receive free or reduced meals, as these accounts do not incur debt. Lunch debt varies greatly within FCPS schools and it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact need at a specific school at a given moment. The Foundation for FCPS accepts contributions to off-set student lunch debt in our school system. For the greatest impact, we ask that you earmark donations for “Erase School Lunch Debt” and not for a specific school. This will allow FCPS Food and Nutrition Services to clear the accounts of students who were not accepted for FRM benefits or who are awaiting approval of these benefits. We are grateful for the generous donors who want to assist this effort. To contribute, please click on the Donate Now button and type “Erase School Lunch Debt” in the donor note field.
Lunch debt of Creekside Intermediate School students paid off by donor
HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. – Nearly 100 students at Creekside Intermediate School in Harris County no longer have to worry about paying off lunch debts incurred through the school year. The donation from the Harris County Men’s Club totaled $750, which was enough to cover the students’ lunch costs for the year. The donation came about after Club Founder Adrine Bruce asked the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator for the Harris County School District, Patricia Holloway, if there was a way the clubs could help the schools in Harris County. “These funds will pay off the cafeteria balances for Creekside students with a small overage amount, which will be passed on to pay the balances of some students at other schools in our county,” Principal Lindie Snyder remarked. “School cafeterias are a self-funded extension of our schools. Unpaid balances must be paid by the school. This donation relieves a financial burden for our parents as well as for our school budget. We are grateful.” The Harris County Men’s Club is a social and religious organization that has been working in the community since 1992. “Our mission is to put an end to illiteracy, and if helping to pay a lunch balance will help in any way at all we are blessed and happy to do it,” said Club President Harry Crawford.