According to the Education Data Initiative, the national public school meal debt was $262 million last year. 1.54 million students can’t afford their school meals. The average meal debt per child in Idaho is $168.62 yearly (Hanson, 2021). In an ideal world, school breakfast and lunch would be at no charge to all students. Not everyone qualifies for the free or reduced lunch programs offered federally.
To help combat the issue of school meal debt, the Weiser Chamber of Commerce board made a generous donation to the Weiser School District. The participants of the Night Light Parade made a donation upon submitting their application to enter the parade, which added up to a grand total of $1,451.00! All of the proceeds from the parade will go to the Weiser School District.
Chamber President Sally Frye commented, “I am just so grateful to have the opportunity to host the parade and bring in donations to help our local community.”
No child should ever have to feel the embarrassment of not having money on their account for a meal. A donation this size will relieve a good portion of lunch debt for many Weiser students. Food Service Director Angie Wilson was thrilled to receive the donation and expressed her gratitude for the community support for our public school children and their families.
Thank you, Weiser Chamber of Commerce and community members, for joining in the parade, making a donation, and supporting local students!
Hanson, Melanie. “School Lunch Debt” EducationData.org, October 12, 2021, https://educationdata.org/school-lunch-debt