Kid Hunger News Bites

Philando Castile’s mother pays off $8,000 in student lunch debts:

The shooting death of Philando Castile at the hands of police sparked protests in 2016, but his mother is continuing his legacy of helping others. Last week, Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile delivered an $8,000 check to Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, Minn. to help wipe out lunch debts of graduating seniors. Valerie’s gift honored her son who was a cafeteria worker that would sometimes pay off student lunch debt with his own money. Castile was shot five times during a traffic stop while trying to comply with the police officer’s commands.

Castile had admitted to having a gun in the car seconds before he was shot. His death sparked national protests against police shootings. Officer Jeronimo Yanez was indicted on several charges, including manslaughter, but later found not guilty on all charges. Following his death, Valerie created the charity Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which aims to help victims of gun and police violence. Philando Feeds The Children was also created in Castile’s honor and USA Today reports that the organization raised more than $130,000 to pay off the lunch debts for every school in the St.

School lunch debt is a big problem in this country, particularly in low-income communities. According to USA Today, a national survey done by the non-profit organization School Nutrition Association found that more than 75% of school districts reported having unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Keywords: [“Castile”,”School”,”debt”]

Boulder mom’s school lunch debt campaign raises $20,000, gains national attention:

Boulder mom Kate Lacroix’s campaign to help pay off the Boulder Valley School District’s lunch debt is garnering national attention. She’s also received queries from people in Texas, Virginia, Ohio and California interested in starting their own lunch debt fundraisers. Lacroix, a parent of a New Vista High School freshman and a preschooler, started the campaign at the end of November to help cover some of Boulder Valley’s unpaid lunch balances. When she asked the school district about its mid-year unpaid balances, district officials told her the amount was up to about $232,000. Both the Boulder Valley and St.

Vrain Valley school districts provide a full meal, whether students have money in their accounts or not. Lacroix is the owner of First Bite, Boulder’s restaurant week, and Stocked, a pantry-stocking service that helps women save money on grocery bills. As more newspapers and news outlets like National Public Radio began picking up the story, money started flooding in. By the end of last week, donations totaled $10,000 – and Boulder’s Lucky’s Market provided a matching $10,000 to boost the amount to $20,000, she said. The head of the school lunch program in Puerto Rico, still recovering from devastating hurricane damage, even donated.

Last school year, after donations, Boulder Valley wrote off $96,734 in unpaid lunch balances, according to Chief Financial Officer Bill Sutter. Money for the unpaid amount comes from the district’s general fund. Almost 20 percent of Boulder Valley’s students qualify for federally subsidized lunches.

Keywords: [“Boulder”,”lunch”,”Valley”]

Maine bill would prevent schools from shaming students over unpaid lunch debt

The Maine School Nutrition Association is opposing the bill, saying it would encourage nonpayment by parents who know their kids will be fed regardless of what they owe. Her bill would specifically prevent a school from punishing or refusing a meal as a form of disciplinary action, or openly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay or owes money. It also would require a school to communicate about debt directly with a parent or guardian, not the child. Another woman said her graduating senior was in an assembly when the principal read a list of all students who owed lunch money, saying those students couldn’t graduate if the debts weren’t paid. The Maine School Nutrition Association is opposing the bill, although the president-elect said it supports the idea behind it.

The association, representing food service directors, argued that if the bill passes people won’t pay their children’s bills because they know the school will feed them anyway. Reading from a Colorado newspaper article, Roberts said the Denver school system’s unpaid lunch debt rose from $13,000 before changing the policy to $356,000 the next year. Dodge and Bellows said they did not know how much unpaid debt Maine districts face now, but in January 2018 when a similar bill was before the committee, the state’s child nutrition director said there was more than $350,000 in overdrawn school lunch accounts statewide. The 2018 bill passed the committee and the full House but never received a final vote. The committee will next take up the bill in a work session.

Keywords: [“bill”,”School”,”student”]