Denver Public Schools Offers Healthy Alternative for Kids With School Lunch Debt – Colorado News

Denver Public Schools Offers Healthy Alternative for Kids With School Lunch Debt – Colorado News

Monday, July 31, 2017 at 5:16 p.m.

What happens when parents can’t pay outstanding debts on school lunch? Denver Public schools says, “Let them eat graham crackers and milk.”

According to DPS food-services policy, if students paying for school lunch or receiving reduced-rate lunches cannot make their payments, the student can receive up to $6 worth of lunch for free. A lunch costs $2 for those in kindergarten through fifth grade, $2.25 for grades six through eight, and $2.75 for grades nine through twelve. In other words, elementary-school students can afford three lunches before the debt policy kicks in, while middle- and high-schoolers only get two.

Once the six-dollar limit is surpassed, students begin to receive an “alternate meal”: a cheese sandwich and milk. Mmmmm. And if three alternate meals have been served and parents/guardians still have not paid off outstanding meal debts? Students will be a given a “healthy snack of white milk and graham crackers,” as stated on DPS’s website.

Graham crackers? Healthy? If this policy sounds insane or made up, amazingly, it isn’t. It’s plainly stated under DPS’s Meal Prices and Charge Policy webpage. The only exception is for students who receive free lunches.

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A screenshot of the school lunch debt rule on DPS’s website.

Food & Nutrition Services / dpsk12.org

Furthermore, under DPS policy, outstanding debts carry over between school years and between schools within the district. So in August, students in debt will start the school year receiving nothing more than graham crackers and milk as their mid-day sustenance.

But Theresa Peña,…

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