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Local School Lunch Debt Fund Falls Short

All students at MCCSC receive the same meal, even if they have unpaid lunch debt(photo courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture)

A fund created to pay off school lunch debt is running out of money. The Food Assistance Fund was created to help Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) cover the cost of lunches when families fall short.

Schools across the country are struggling with lunch debt, with some even barring high school students from homecoming or denying their diplomas until their debt is paid.

Monroe County’s Food Assistance Fund was started in May 2017, in response to the district’s practice of replacing hot meals with cold lunches for students with outstanding debt. Community members called the practice “lunch shaming,” saying students were being publicly humiliated for their families’ unpaid bills.

After the public outcry, the school corporation dropped that practice. All students receive the same meals now, even if they have outstanding debt

But according to an article in The Herald-Times this week, Monroe County schools are still short on money. Because federal funds cannot be used to cover lunch debt, the school corporation may have to draw from its operations fund to cover the $49,000 shortfall.

The school lunch assistance fund, collected by the Foundation for Monroe County Community Schools, can receive donations for this year’s debt until June 30, 2019.

Read More:

Unpaid Lunch Debt Could Leave MCCSC $69K in the Lurch
Parents Grapple with Increasing Debt For School Lunches

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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