North Thurston Public Schools in Lacey, Wash., has accumulated $21,000 in lunch debt due to unpaid meals this school year, KIRO7 reports.
The district’s foodservice director says the increase in debt may be in part due to a lunch shaming bill passed recently that prevents districts from denying students hot lunch if they can’t pay. While district officials say the bill has good intentions, it has caused meal debt to climb.
Officials have been reaching out to parents via phone and letters to let them know that they owe money. The district also created a fund last year that lets community members donate money to the lunch program.
About 5,700 students (38%) in the district are enrolled in the free or reduced-price lunch program. Officials say there are many more students who qualify for the program but are not signed up.
Read the full story via kiro7.com.