It's time to rethink the narrative about school lunch debt.
We are committed to finding solutions.
SCHOOL LUNCH DEBT IS A BARRIER TO SUCCESS, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
75% of school districts in Wyoming have reported school lunch debt and 40% say their debt is growing. Currently, there is no ongoing work related to solving the school lunch debt crisis in the state. Corporate investments in Wyoming Angel Accounts will be returned to the local county of choice with a tax deductible donation. Wyoming Hunger Initiative is committed to working with school districts to determine the amount a family can pay in the form of a payment plan prior to receiving matching funds. Wyoming Hunger Initiative will continue to evaluate, analyze, and brainstorm long-term solutions to the challenge of lunch debt.
According to Giridhar Mallya, senior policy officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the prevalence of school lunch debt shows even small amounts of money can add up over time and become a burden to struggling families.
No child should experience the effects of debt that cause a barrier to success in life. Let's do something about it.
Jennie Gordon, First Lady of Wyoming
Wyoming Hunger Initiative offers a plan that will assist local school districts in alleviating school lunch debt. Instead of utilizing a band aid approach, Wyoming Hunger Initiative hopes to create a sustainable solution that encourages the partnership of key stakeholders including parents or guardians. Research shows that school lunch debt that is paid in full without any contribution from the student’s family ensures that the debt will return within a short period of time. This plan includes a commitment to pay a portion of the debt by the student’s family. The plan’s tenets:
The creation of a network around the state of school districts who are willing to partner with Wyoming Hunger Initiative to aid with student lunch debt.
Participating school districts have the option to request funding for students within their district whose families are willing to meet the district halfway on the debt. In other words, if a student’s family commits to paying 50% of the debt in the form of a payment plan, the Wyoming Hunger Initiative will pay the other 50% upon completion of the payment plan.
Should the family fail to complete their part of the payment plan, the school district has still recouped some of the accrued debt. Conversely, Wyoming Hunger Initiative will not provide the funds for the remaining 50%. Those funds will be held for other families or redistributed to other districts.