Hear about that story out of Utah about a school that literally took lunches away from kids because their families were behind on payments? So did Kenny Thompson of Houston, who was bothered enough to check with his local school to see whether anything similar was happening, reports Click2Houston. Turns out, more than 60 kids at Valley Oaks Elementary had delinquent accounts and were receiving lesser lunches—think cold cheese sandwiches instead of a full tray. He then donated $465 to bring all the accounts up to date. "Best money I ever spent," says Thompson.
Heartwarming, sure, but it's "of course not a long-term solution to the very real problem of unpaid school meal accounts," writes Bettina Elias Siegel at the Lunch Tray blog. Schools of all kinds are struggling with how to handle delinquent accounts, as improved meal standards drive costs up. Another factor cited by Siegel: the increased use of swipe cards by students. Kids tend to treat them like credit cards, maxing them out on non-essentials. Click for the full post, which includes links to forums on the subject.