FEED: Group Pays Delin­quent Stu­dent Ac­counts

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - NEWS -

Grove, Lin­coln and West


“We have to dis­trib­ute it fairly,” Gheen said.

Do­na­tions for Lin­coln stu­dents can be made in sev­eral ways. Money can be dropped off at the schools and des­ig­nated for the Life­line ac­count or mailed to An­gel Life­line Inc., 208 Jenk­ins Road, Prairie Grove, AR 72753.

“The deal is to feed kids,” Gheen said.

Denise Gheen said the pro­gram ben­e­fits stu­dents by giv­ing them a hot meal for the day and also by pro­tect­ing their dig­nity. Most schools have an al­ter­na­tive lunch for those stu­dents whose delin­quent ac­counts have a $15 bal­ance.

The way the pro­gram works, they said, is that the cashier is the per­son who de­cides whether to use Life­line funds for a child’s lunch that day.

“If the ac­count is delin­quent and the child needs to eat, feed them,” Ken Gheen said.

Mary Ann Spears, su­per­in­ten­dent of Lin­coln Con­sol­i­dated School District and a Ki­wa­nis mem­ber, said the district has had to write off as much as $10,000-$12,000 in delin­quent school lunch­room ac­counts some years. In such cases, the district’s gen­eral fund pays off the lunch­room debts.

“We’re the big­gest (need) be­cause we have the high­est poverty rate,” Spears said.

More than 70 per­cent of Lin­coln stu­dents qual­ify for the fed­eral free and re­duced lunch pro­gram.

Va­lerie Daw­son, Lin­coln’s food ser­vice di­rec­tor, said the district used money from the An­gel Life­line pro­gram to pay for 883 meals in March. The An­gel Life­line ac­count was used for meals at all three schools, she said.

Life­line ben­e­fits Lin­coln stu­dents be­cause the lunch­room does not have to give them an al­ter­na­tive meal.

“Then it’s not em­bar­rass­ing to the kid,” Daw­son said.

Lin­coln’s al­ter­na­tive meal is a cheese sand­wich, piece of fruit and white milk.

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