At a regularly scheduled meeting last Tuesday in Bigfork, ISD 318 Superintendent Bruce Thomas offered some comments to the school board on dealing with the district’s food and nutrition program.
Thomas noted that the program operated at a $40,000 loss last year, due to unpaid balances by district families. He recommended using a collections agency to recover past due balances, adding that the bulk of the money was owed by about 15 families.
“The program is a self-sustaining fund. The monies are generated by either aid from the federal or state government or the sale of lunches. When one group doesn’t pay then another family has to pay for that student’s lunch,” the superintendent said.
Thomas emphasized that he did not want to deny any student a nutritious lunch, but said that the district cannot continue to operate the food and nutrition program at a loss. Thomas urged families having difficulties paying for lunches to sign up for the free and reduced lunch program.
Thomas concluded his remarks saying “The free and reduced lunch program is anonymous. By that I mean the child is not singled out. You get a lunch ticket like anyone else.”
In other business, the board:
• Approved the Grand Rapids Interact and International trip to Casablanca, Morocco in June and July of 2017.
• Hired one custodian, a STEM Coordinator, and accepted the retirement of one school bus driver.
• Approved the STEM Coordinator employment agreement.
• Approved an agreement between ISD 318 and the Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids.