The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Students affected by new lunch debt policy


This year the school put a new lunch debt policy into place to help the continuously-growing lunch debt that the school carries.

Now, high school students that have an outstanding lunch debt will not be able to get a full lunch. Local businesses have already held fundraisers to help the affected students as the fault does not rest on them. This directly affects students as they are the ones who are unable to eat lunch after a certain point. 

According to school board policy 763, “The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent procedures for students with insufficient funds for school meals and delinquent accounts in the district’s school nutrition program. Parents and guardians must plan for their child to have sufficient access to food at school on each school day and must actively monitor and manage their child’s school food service account.”

The details about the new lunch policy were not clear to many students. Cook Laurel Larson says students can always eat. 

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“They can’t get the mainline lunch, but they can have anything on the garden bar. So, If the child is minus $25 or more, they can still get lunch, but they cannot get any ala carte or any extra entrees,” said Larson. 

This new policy has greatly affected students in the school district. One student, Katie Smith*, was not aware of the new policy and was denied a mainline meal. She was not aware of the fact she could eat from the garden bar and after going a few days without eating lunch, she was informed she could eat from the garden bar. 

“I would just sit there at lunch, talk with my friends and just not eat, which is what lunch is for. Some people would give me weird looks, but I know there are a lot of kids who can’t eat lunch because they’re too far in debt or they don’t have enough money,” said Smith.

A local business, Studio 107, held a fundraiser to help the kids affected by the new policy. The money raised from the fundraiser was donated to an angel fund. 

Currently, every student is allowed a hot lunch because of the angel fund. The students are not the only ones affected by the new policy. 

“It makes me feel bad. When I was a single mom, before I got remarried, I just made sure I tried to keep money in both my boy’s lunch accounts. It’s hard, but I know not everybody’s circumstances are the same, so it kind of bothers me because I think every kid should be able to eat,” said Larson. 

The new policy has been accomplishing its purpose to decrease the lunch debt, however. 

“The negative liability of debt that we began with at the beginning of the year has shown marked improvement under the new policy. We have observed a 16% decrease in the debt since the policy was enacted. The angel fund does not help the debt of the program. However, it assists students’ daily to participate in the program,” said the district’s Nutrition Services Supervisor, Connie Sieber. 

Smith is thankful for the angel fund and how it has helped her and her family. 

“I’m able to eat lunch every day without worrying about trying to pay it off later which is really nice,” said Smith. 

*Name changed to protect the source’s identity

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Students affected by new lunch debt policy