Community Angels Step Up to Make Sure the District Can Feed All Kids
If you’ve seen the news recently, you may have heard that former Seahawk Richard Sherman is getting a lot of attention for paying off a $20,000 lunch bill for Tacoma Public Schools kids.
Sherman deserves the acknowledgement, yes, but here in Ocean Shores and surrounding communities, we have some heroes who have stepped up for our kids, impressively.
Going into December, the district had a $2,300 balance in unpaid lunch charges for students. The charges had mounted up because the NBSD Nutrition Services team never say no to our students for breakfast or lunch when they ask to eat. While around 70 percent of the students in our district qualify for free or reduced cost meals, there are many others who don't "qualify" but frequently come up short when their parents can’t send the money.
This poses a challenge to district staff. Hungry students can't concentrate and won't be successful learners. Serving alternate lunches, like a peanut butter sandwich, can be humiliating for a kid. But, like many school districts, NBSD has limited resources to pay for limitless free meals.
Superintendent Andrew Kelly put the word out on the district’s Facebook page and, as of Thursday, December 12, the community stepped up to provide over $8,800 to eliminate the current gap and help pay future unpaid balances.
All contributions are being put in a specific account to ensure they are dedicated to unpaid school lunch bills. Rest assured, the district will still work to collect from parents that don't qualify for support, but these contributions have created a safety net for our students and their families.
Superintendent Kelly, and the NBSD staff, student and parents want to send a HUGE, resounding THANK YOU to our angels:
- Bradley and Patricia Deibel $500
- Harry Yanagimachi, $100
- Poplin Construction, Inc, $1,000
- Grays Harbor Plumbing Inc/Ocean Shores Storage Co. $1,000
- Arrow Lumber in Ocean Shores, WA for $3,000
- And two anonymous donors, one who pitched in $1,000 and another who added $2,221.85
“I'm thankful to serve in a community that believes in the value of education and consistently pulls together for the benefit of our most precious commodity, our children,” Superintendent Kelly said.