Pupils’ lunch debts all paid

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Kieran Ni­chol­son

More than $13,000 in stu­dent lunch debt in Den­ver Pub­lic Schools last year is ex­pected to be paid off this month, en­sur­ing that all kids will re­ceive reg­u­lar hot-lunch op­tions in­stead of al­ter­nate meals this com­ing school year.

A lo­cal non­profit, Kids­giv­ing365, has raised $11,000 since May through a Go­fundme cam­paign to pay off the DPS stu­dent lunch debt. Mean­while, Shift Workspaces, founded by Grant Barn­hill, a par­ent of an in­com­ing DPS stu­dent, is do­nat­ing $2,910 to the cause. Com­bined, the pair will erase the to­tal of $13,910 in stu­dent lunch debt, ac­cord­ing to DPS.

“We will feed ev­ery kid, ev­ery day,” said DPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Tom Boas­berg on the district’s web­site. “We know hun­gry kids aren’t the best learn­ers.”

If the debt has not been re­lieved, some chil­dren would have re­ceived a cheese sand­wich, or gra­ham crack­ers, and milk, as an al­ter­na­tive meal.

That won’t hap­pen in 2017-2018.

“We are grate­ful to our com­mu­nity, our stu­dents and our busi­ness part­ners for their sup­port. We will be work­ing with them and with fed­eral of­fi­cials to en­sure that ev­ery child has the op­por­tu­nity for break­fast and lunch ev­ery day.”

The district is thank­ful for gen­er­ous donors as it continues to work on longterm so­lu­tions, Boas­berg said.

Kids­giv­ing365 said it in­tends to do­nate the full amount of $13,910 by Aug. 21.

“We are grate­ful to the hun­dreds of peo­ple, many of whom are chil­dren, who do­nated money to make sure that ev­ery belly is full with a hot lunch, so that stu­dents can fo­cus on learning and not be­ing hun­gry,” said Deb­o­rah Sher­man, Kids­giv­ing365 pres­i­dent.

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