North Thurston Public Schools has established a new “Compassion Fund” to help feed kids with overdue lunch accounts.
“It will be used to fund full meals to all students who exceed the negative charge limit on their food service account,” the school district posted on its Facebook page on Monday. “Instead of a courtesy meal of cereal/milk (and vegetables/fruit), they will get a full meal.”
With nearly 15,000 students, the Lacey-based district had about $3,500 in outstanding lunch debt in August, according to spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve.
Donations for the new program can be designated for students at a specific school, or divided throughout the district. For more information or to make a donation for the Compassion Fund, call 360-412-4432 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The effort is one of a growing number of lunch debt eradication programs in the country, designed to put an end to “lunch shaming.”
In August, the GoFundMe campaign “Erase Washington School Lunch Debt!” was launched. As of Monday, it’s raised about $40,100 toward its $650,000 goal. North Thurston, Olympia and Tumwater are among the nearly 65 districts and private schools listed in the campaign.