Pa. School Board Seeks Collection Agency For Unpaid Lunches

Another school district — this one in Pennsylvania — is considering hiring a collection agency to go after individuals with unpaid school lunch bills.

Unpaid lunches are becoming a growing problem for cash-strapped school districts, and collection agencies seem to be a more popular option to help recover unpaid balances. The Lackawanna Trail Board of Education in Pennsylvania has unanimously approved soliciting bids from collection agencies to try and recover some of the $40,000 it is owed. Other school districts across the country have taken similar steps.

Like other districts, the Lackawanna Trail Board of Education said they will never deny a student the opportunity to have a hot lunch, regardless of how much he or she owes. The intention, the board said, is to try and collect from families who have the means to pay for lunches, but either because they forget or choose not to pay, are not doing so.

The $40,000 in lost revenue is impacting other programs within the district, the board said.

“We have a finite amount of revenue to work with as a school district,” said Keith Glynn, the board’s business manager. “When we have an additional expense that we’re not expecting, it leads us to have to take the money from general operations which, for the most part, is education.”

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