EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Last school year, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation accumulated $53,000 in student lunch debt.
Now, school officials and community businesses are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen again.
Michelle Benke has two boys in third grade. One attends Dexter Elementary where he’ll receive free breakfast and lunch everyday for the 2019-2020 school year.
“The school has always helped, they’ve been on free and reduced lunches, but for other kids, I’m glad that that’s actually happened because that does help parents and children," Benke said.
Dexter is one of 21 EVSC schools to offer free breakfast and lunch. It qualified for the Community Eligibility Provision, a program EVSC looked into after accumulating the large student lunch debt.
“We’re very hopeful that this will take one stress off of families that may be in a hardship situation, but this is a program through the state that we have done a lot of research on, and we feel like this could be a great benefit to our families," said Jason Woebkenberg, chief communication officer with the EVSC.
However, only half of EVSC schools qualified, so many local businesses have been pitching in to try and reduce that debt.
On Sunday, Crescent City Tattoos raised over $5,600, and for parents, the changes by the EVSC and the donations from the community are a blessing.