Staff, Families Rally to Pay Student Lunch Debt
Staff, Families Rally to Pay Student Lunch Debt
Posted on 06/05/2020

Teacher Catherine McNett didn’t want to take a trip. No special to-do.

What she wanted when she retired was to erase lunch debt at PineCrest Elementary, where she taught for 22 years.

In early April, lunch debt across the district totaled more than $124,000.

But thanks to recent donations from staff, families and community organizations across Central Kitsap, lunch debt has been dropping.

Meals are provided for free during the COVID-19-imposed school closure. But during a normal school year students pay for lunches and breakfasts, unless they qualify for free meals. Students can get meals regardless of their ability to pay. But balances can add up — sometimes to hundreds of dollars per family.

McNett contacted Amy Northey, PineCrest’s Nutrition Assistant II and learned that lunch debt topped $3,200. “It was a lot more than I thought,” McNett said.

So they enlisted the help of other staff members, friends and family.

At other CK schools, student leaders, staff members, alumni and community organizations rallied to clear debt. In early June, district lunch debt was about $84,000.

PineCrest staff brought their school’s lunch debt down to $0.

“Especially with what’s been going on … I wanted to reach out to let our families know how much I care,” said McNett. “And I know that our staff felt the same way because our families are so special to us.”

If you are interested in donating money to help clear lunch debt at a school, please visit our Meal Debt Donation page