FHSD Launches Lunch Heroes Program

Posted on 02/02/2018
Lunch Heroes Logo

The Francis Howell School District recently established a Lunch Heroes program to help support students and families who are struggling to provide the funds for purchasing a nutritious school lunch. The Lunch Heroes program is a way for individuals to make donations to support students when they no longer have sufficient funds in their accounts to pay for meals. Thanks to generous donations from our community, more than $6,000 has been raised since the program started in December.

“Every child deserves to have a healthy nutritious lunch regardless of his or her economic status,” said Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris, FHSD Superintendent. “Being hungry has an enormous impact on a student’s ability to learn and concentrate in class, and we want to ensure that students have the fuel they need.”

A typical school lunch costs about $50 a month per student. Annually, FHSD incurs about $10,000 in debt from students unable to pay for lunch.
This year, we have seen an increase in the number of students with negative balances, as well as larger negative balances. Even with negative lunch account balances, the District’s food service program is able to operate on a profitable basis. By law, these funds are separate from the District’s general operating budget and can only be spent on the food service program. The money raised through the Lunch Heroes program will help reduce these outstanding balances and ensure that all students receive a nutritious meal.

Parents, staff, and community members can all make donations to the Lunch Heroes program through the District website:https://fhsdschools.revtrak.net/lunch-hero-donation/#/list. Donations can be made to a particular school or as a general donation to the District, which will allow funds to be used where they are most needed. Families with children graduating or leaving the District can also opt to donate the remaining balance of their student’s account to the Lunch Heroes program.

FHSD works to educate parents and guardians about our lunch program, policies, and financial obligations throughout the school year. Parents receive electronic and written communication once their student’s account has a negative balance, reminding them to add funds. Additionally, families are encouraged to apply for free/reduced meals if they are experiencing financial hardship. This application can be completed at any time, not just at the beginning of the school year. A family of four qualifies for free/reduced priced meals if they make approximately $45,500 a year or less, but some families who make more than that still struggle to pay for school lunches. Currently, about 18 percent of FHSD families participate in the free/reduced meals program.


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