Three months after the federal government stopped providing free school meals to all public school students, some districts are reporting thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. In one district, the unpaid balance for school meals reached as high as $1.7 million.
This is according to a new survey by the School Nutrition Association, a school food trade group. The organization queried 1,230 school nutrition directors nationwide in November and found that nearly all were concerned about the financial solvency of their meal programs. Though the report did not disclose the names of the districts polled, it said many directors viewed the reimbursement they get from the federal government to subsidize the meals as insufficient to cover costs incurred because of the debt, inflation and labor shortages.