Unpaid Lunches Create Debt For Northland Schools

Superior Schools Enforcing Strict Policy

In the Northland delinquent lunch money accounts are costing schools thousands of dollars.

At the Superior School District, in the past it’s been as much as $40,000 to $50,000 in unpaid accounts throughout their roughly 5,000 students in elementary, middle and high school.

“We realized we’re running a significant deficit with families that did not pay for their own kids lunches and made a big push, plan to let parents know we need you to become current,” said district administrator Jana Stevens.

That included phone calls, mailings and emails to let parents know if they didn’t pay, their kids couldn’t eat.

It wasn’t a popular move by all parents, but the school district says they’re a public entity and had to break even so they had no choice.

“Typically we let kids know, “tomorrow you can’t get lunch,” I don’t know the percentage but it gets kids home, or calling mom to make sure they’re set for the next day,” said Stevens.

The district says, it’s unlikely kids will actually ever have to go hungry because there are back up plans.

“We have generous teachers , support staff and other citizens that have established an Angel Account to try and help that out and have a certain pot of money,” said Stevens.

Other things the school district is doing to keep that debt from piling on this year is making applications to apply for free or reduced lunches available online.

They’re also sending parents regular emails about their children’s balances on their accounts.