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Edmonds School District

All Students Receiving School Meals Regardless of Account Balance

All Students Receiving School Meals Regardless of Account Balance

Posted on 11/29/2017

Our District’s Board of Directors were pleased to launch a pilot program this school year. This pilot created a system that allows all students to select a school meal on any given day, regardless of their ability to pay at that time. Previously, no negative balances could be incurred and students were offered a “courtesy meal.”

As of Nov. 13, more than 2,100 student accounts are in the negative, totalling nearly $28,000. While some of this amount is from prior to a student becoming eligible for free or reduced meals, nearly $22,000 represents students on paid meal status.

No debt existed at the start of the current 2017-18 school year thanks to the donations received from the community last spring, totalling $7,000.

“The debt from unpaid meal charges is accruing faster than anticipated,” said Barbara Lloyd, Director of Food and Nutrition Services. “The goal of the new, pilot program was to remove the stigma associated with ‘courtesy meals.’

“Courtesy meals, unfortunately became associated with a child not having enough money,” Lloyd added. “Even though the intent was to make sure every student received food each day.”

Lloyd is providing monthly update reports to the Board of Directors at its regular meetings. Her next report is Tuesday, Nov. 28. School Board meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

Steps are being taken to notify families to ensure their meal accounts have a positive balance.

Families with balances below $10 and with negative balances, are notified weekly, on Wednesdays, either by email or a voicemail. Cash, checks or online through Skyward Family Access are the ways to update each student’s account.

Families financial situations can change unexpectedly and we encourage all families to apply for free or reduced meals at any time during the school year. Families, while still responsible for the previous unpaid balance, are strongly encouraged to contact Food and Nutrition Services to make payment arrangements. Please call Dee Moran at 425-431-7078.