Washoe County School District presenting plan to cut meal debt

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RENO, NV (KOLO) - The Washoe County School District has a plan to eliminate half of the more than $100,000 owed to the district in unpaid meal charges and to make the problem more manageable.

A District representative tells KOLO 8 News Now that much of the debt is attributed to families at 22 schools where a large percentage of the students qualify for free meals under federal guidelines. That debt will be paid off with "non-federal" revenues, reducing the unpaid balance to $51,632.

In addition, the district will reclassify those particular schools to be included in the federal free-meal program, since a large enough percentage of the families fall into the assistance category. Since those school meals will be paid for through federal funds, the Nutrition Services Enterprise Fund will see an estimated increase in revenue by $500,000.

During the 2018-2019 school year, only two WCSD schools were providing 100% free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Changing demographics in Washoe County and changes to the qualification system have allowed the District to consider reclassifying the other 22 schools under CEP.

The WCSD will decide on the plan at its August 13, 2019 regular meeting.

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