Lunches in North Carolina Public Schools
In the past few years, the price of school lunches in North Carolina has increased. This is because of trying to implement new, healthier options of food and trying to replace old kitchen equipment. These price increases don’t impact students that qualify for free or reduced lunches. But, if students do qualify and don’t fill out the forms to show that they do then they get charged for a full priced lunch. When this happens and they can’t pay for a full priced lunch, they collect debt on their account. At the end of the year if this debt is not paid, it is then the school’s responsibility.
According to Rebecca Andrews from The News and Observer, “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had $388,937 owed by 10,600 students in the 2018-19 school year, up from $282,965 in 2017-18.” In North Carolina, different counties are making different decisions on how to handle the debt. For example, “Guilford County Schools received three donations that covered the total 2018-19 school year lunch debt for the entire district,” states The News and Observer. Along with that, “Many schools have an ‘angel’ account they can dip into to help cover a student’s negative charges.” In places like Bladen County, the school system is enrolled in a program called Community Eligibility Provision, which is a program that makes all the meals free, for all students in the school district. In Wake, Cumberland, Johnston, and Durham school systems they all agree that no student leaves the lunchroom without eating. In Wake County alone there is a policy that they call the Angel Fund, where money is donated by parents and staff to cover the cost of school meals; if the account runs out then at the minimum the student gets fruits and vegetables to eat.
Due to the price of school lunches increasing, we do have students that will not get as much nutritional value during the school day because of the fact that they can not afford it. If you would like to help out, you can raise money to donate to help out to cover some of the cost of school lunches so that students will not go hungry during the day and will be able to focus.