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School Administrators Address Lunch Debt

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:27 am

An Iowa school was recently reported to have had nearly $40,000 in school lunch debt, mostly due to students not utilizing reduced or free lunch programs and simply not paying. While certainly less than $40,000, the Knoxvile school district reported a negative lunch balance of nearly $2,280 at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, up from less than $450 the year before. Knoxville School Board secretary Craig Mobley cites the sagging economy and potential unemployment among possible reasons for the increase. Pella Schools Superintendent Mark Wittmer says their district is not currently facing any lunch debt, though he has noticed a trend of fewer high school students who qualify for subsidized lunches utilizing the program. Wittmer adds that overall, approximately fifteen to sixteen percent of the students in the district do make use of the program. The reduced or free lunch program is reimbursed by the Federal Government and is made available to those whose families meet certain income guidelines.