How the National School Lunch Program Is Causing a Debt Crisis | NowThis
Students with lunch debt barred from attending prom, field trips
In late August, Cherry Hill school district faced backlash for a proposal in which students who owed over $10 in lunch debt would only receive a tuna fish sandwich for lunch, and students with over $20 would receive no lunch at all. In September, it was announced that students who did not have money would still be able to receive breakfast and lunch without any a la carte items. On Tuesday night, Cherry Hill School District passed a new policy during a school board meeting. According to the new policy, high school students and middle school students who have a debt over $75 may not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, purchase tickets for dances, including prom, attend class trips or purchase a yearbook. Elementary students who accrue over $75 in lunch debt will not be able to participate in after-school events/activities or attend class trips.
This policy does not bar students from educational field trips. The rule will be enforced at a school’s principal’s discretion and is not an automatic step. According to NJ.com, the school district had $14,343 in unpaid meal debt in the 2018-2019 school year. The new policy’s goal is to identify families who need help and to encourage them to complete a Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application. It also aims to identify parents who can cover their child’s debt but have not.
The district encourages those wanting to donate to contribute to its Friday Food Backpack Program, which sends food home with children over the weekend on a weekly basis. Steve Ravitz did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
Florida Man Pays Off Whole Town’s School Lunch Debt With Generous Donation
A Florida man decided to make a real difference in his local community by wiping away the lunch debt of every child in the district. After discovering that over 400 students in his neighborhood were unable to receive a full meal due to the outstanding debt, Andrew Levy said he felt compelled to act. Levy has only lived in the South Florida area since 2014 and does not have any children in the school district. Still, that didn’t stop him from footing the outstanding bill of $944.34. The real estate agent posted about his act of kindness on Facebook, which sparked a chain reaction across Palm Beach County.
Hundreds of people were offering to contribute financially to wipe away school lunch debt in their community – a deficit that totals some $51,000, according to the school district’s website. According to a spokesman for the district, almost $9,000 has already been donated this year, including a $5,000 one-off gift made earlier this year. Now convinced that the entire balance can be reduced to zero, Levy says he plans to launch a fundraising campaign in the coming months. Many have taken to Andrew’s Facebook to show their personal appreciation for his generous donation. You can contribute to the school lunch debt donations yourself by heading here.
New Jersey school district bans students with lunch debt from participating in extracurricular activities
A New Jersey school district is banning students with school lunch debt from attending extracurricular activities, including prom and field trips. Middle school students who owe $75 or more in school lunch fees will face the same punishment, while elementary school students will be barred from participating in after-school events and attending class trips. The policy, which was approved last Tuesday at a board of education meeting, received swift backlash from parents and students. Video of the board meeting, which was posted to the district’s website, showed students, teachers and parents addressing the board to condemn the policy. The school district had $14,343 in unpaid meal debt in the last school year from more than 300 students who had a debt of more than $10, according to NJ.com.
He urged those criticizing the policy to take note that it does not include a state statute, which would require meals to be withheld from students who owe lunch money. Multiple calls to the school district were not returned.
New Jersey school district proposes banning students with lunch debt from field trips, prom
A New Jersey school district approved a policy earlier in the week that will bar students with lunch debt from attending activities such as prom. ADVERTISEMENT. The Cherry Hill school district, located just outside Philadelphia, passed the new rule Tuesday night at a school board meeting. Under the policy, students with a negative balance will be able to get a hot meal, but not a la carte items. The if debt goes over $75, high school students will be prohibited from going to school dances including prom until the debt is fully repaid.
The rule will be enforced at the principals’ discretion, but also allows middle and high school students to be banned from extracurricular activities and going on field trips until the balance is paid off. In August, the Cherry Hill school district also came under fire when it proposed giving only tuna sandwiches to students who owed more than $10 and refusing to serve kids who had a balance of more than $20..