BRUNSWICK COUNTY — For some Brunswick County students, no money will mean no school lunch, beginning in January.
When Brunswick County students return to school on Jan. 2, there will be some changes to the way many receive school lunch. The district on that date will begin to fully enforce the no-charge policy for high school students and a $15 cap will be set for younger students who do not bring lunch money to school.
The school board’s policy number 6227 was revised significantly in April, according to a district press release. The reason for the revisions was a large amount of outstanding charges for student meals. Last year, the district was short $105,000. That is the equivalent to two teacher salaries, the release states.
The revision imposes a $15 charge limit for elementary and middle school students and a no-charge policy for high school students.
The release states that the district has spent months preparing parents for the upcoming enforcement; those tactics included personal and automated calls and letters.
“Staff have also worked with families to assist with completion of free and reduced meal applications,” the release states. “These efforts have dramatically reduced the amount of meal charges at this point in the school year by more than 50 percent compared to last year’s data.”
However, the district is still owed more than $30,000 for this year, more than half of which can be traced to high school students charging their lunches.
High school students who owe money will not only not be served school lunch, they will not be permitted to participate in prom or commencement exercises. Parents of students who owe money will receive a letter this week about the policy.
Brunswick County Schools provides all students, regardless of meal application status, free breakfast.
Child Nutrition Director Robert Parker said parents of high school students who receive a letter should contact their child’s school or his office.
“We will work with them,” Parker said. “They just have to make the effort.”
For information about the Board Policy 6227, student meal charges, contact Robert Parker at 910-274-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.