Anonymous Donor pays off students' lunch debt
Metro church gives more than $92K to pay for student lunch debt
A video recorded at Richfield High School last week got a lot of people talking. It shows what school administrators admit was a big mistake: Students with a certain level of lunch debt had their meal taken, thrown out, and replaced with an alternative. Which has locations in Maple Grove and Fridley, pledged $10,000 to the district to help eliminate outstanding lunch debt. The money comes from the church’s ‘School Lunch Matters’ initiative, which they launched in 2015. ‘School Lunch Matters’ started by giving money to the Osseo School District. A little over a year ago, they expanded the program to the Fridley School District.
Their $10,000 donation to Richfield is the latest in what the church has said, and school district officials confirm, amounts to about $92,500 towards outstanding meal debt since 2015. The church says parishioners contributed to most of the money. The Richfield School District says since last week, in addition to the pledge from Passion Church, they’ve received nearly $22,823 dollars in individual donations to pay off its students’ lunch debt. They say that’s enough to pay off the current meal debt with reserves left over. They say the Philando Castile Relief Foundation has also reached out.
The generosity of community members during a special offering collected by Liquid Church this month paid off in the form of a clean slate in cafeterias across five school districts in New Jersey. Thousands of dollars collected on Oct. 13 went to eliminating the student lunch debt for nearly 1,500 families in Roselle, Sayreville, Somerville, Nutley and Parsippany, according to Essex County Campus Pastor Jim Gottshall. He did say that the church already has heard from many parents that were directly impacted expressing their appreciation, as well as one of the school superintendents where the lunch debt was paid off. Lead pastor Tim Lucas touched on the issue of unpaid student lunch debt and how children whose parents are struggling financially were being stigmatized, during a sermon on Oct. 13, as seen here. As reported by TAPintoNutley, Nutley’s Board of Education noted at its Oct. 28 meeting that more than $4,200 had been paid off in lunch debt across that district, alone.
Ellwood City schools hire collector for school lunch debt
The Ellwood City Area School District superintendent said the school board decided to bring on a debt collector to collect delinquent school lunch fees, after families have racked up $8,200 in unpaid lunch charges since September. Mancini said if the lunch balance isn’t at zero by the end of each school year, the district is required to front the money – at the expense of other school programs. The superintendent said the district anticipates sending the bills to collection in March, but he said no students will ever suffer from the unpaid bills. Mancini said a local car dealership paid the $20,000 debt in September for unpaid lunches at that time.
Cafeteria Workers Toss Meals of Students With $15 Lunch Debt
Students with more than $15 of lunch debt who went through the cafeteria line at Minnesota’s Richfield High School had their hot meals taken off their trays, thrown in the trash, and replaced with cold lunches when cafeteria workers saw the amount of debt on their accounts. The incident was captured on video and posted to social media Monday, prompting outrage and causing Richfield Public Schools to apologize, KARE 11 reports. The superintendent says students should always be allowed to keep and eat the items on their tray, regardless of lunch debt, and that students should be notified of any lunch debt issues privately, not publicly.
GoFundMe Aims To Raise $20K For Richfield Student Lunch Debt – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIs – Reports that Richfield High School had thrown away more than 40 lunches for students with more than $15 in lunch debt drew outrage earlier this week. Richfield Public Schools issued an apology on Facebook following the incident and encouraged community members to donate to the school’s Sunshine Meal Account, which helps students unable to pay for lunches. A GoFundMe page has also raised more than $2,900 as of Friday afternoon after being up for only one day. The page’s goal is $20,000 to repay Richfield students’ lunch debts.
Cherry Hill school district rejects a Philly businessman’s offer to wipe out students’ lunch debts
Lunch costs $3 at elementary and middle schools and $3.10 at the two high schools in Cherry Hill. Under the changes, students still get a meal when their debt reaches $10. When it reaches $25, parents must be contacted to discuss the outstanding balance and any financial needs. If the debt reaches $75, a parent must attend a mandatory meeting with school officials. Until the bill is paid, students will be prohibited from extracurricular activities, except athletics.
Rep. Ilhan Omar Among Lawmakers Lambasting Richfield Schools Over Lunch Debts – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS – Some state and federal lawmakers say no child should be shamed in the lunchroom over outstanding debts. The Democrat previously introduced a bill that makes school meals free for all students. In Minnesota, the House passed a bill saying students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can’t be refused a hot meal if they have a negative account balance.
Applebee’s holding fundraiser to help pay off school lunch debt in Michigan
Applebee’s will hold a one-day fundraiser aimed at alleviating school lunch debt in Michigan communities. One in five children in Michigan struggle with hunger due partly to the inability to qualify for free/reduced lunches. Twenty percent of food sales from the day will be donated to a local school to pay off school lunch debt.