Skip to Content

Putnam School Nutrition Looking For Help On Lunch Fees

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam School Nutrition Looking For Help On Lunch Fees

The Putnam County School System currently has some $17,000 in outstanding meal debt for students and is looking for those who might like to help.

School Nutrition Program Supervisor Jennifer Mitchell said the Angel Fund allows the community to donate money. She said students who do not meet the income guidelines for meal payment assistance can still charge for their meals, which sometimes causes debt to pile up.

“Potentially, that can take away from other things that the board has allotted to buy or to pay for their plans,” Mitchell said. “It’s very important for them, for us to get that balance down.”

She said that per program guidelines, these charges are not paid for by the nutrition program. She said the burden of the debt falls on the Putnam County Board of Education if it remains unpaid, which can interfere with the board’s budget.

“I just think that students shouldn’t have to have this meal charge over their head,” Mitchell said. “I mean, they shouldn’t have to worry about that, and really, it’s not their fault.”

Mitchell said the school has seven CEP schools where students get all of their meals for free. She said those seven schools are all elementary schools, leaving middle and high schools vulnerable to potential debt.

Mitchell said students with debt in excess of $25 receive an “alternate meal” rather than the typical school lunch that other children will eat. She said serving a student an alternate meal gives nutrition staffers a chance to discretely tell a student about their debt in advance and help prevent them from letting it become unmanageable.

“If they happen to know students who could use some help, what they can do is, they can call the school and talk to the school nutrition manager and say that they would like to donate funds,” Mitchell said. “And they may not know the students.”

She said people who would like to donate can also reach out to the school nutrition office.


The post Putnam School Nutrition Looking For Help On Lunch Fees appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.