A group of local businesses and residents stepped forward to clear unpaid lunch charges for North Beach students.

In a release, Deb Stenberg, Communications Ambassador for the North Beach School District, tells KXRO that going into December, the district had a $2,300 balance in unpaid lunch charges for students.

She says that “The charges had mounted up because the NBSD Nutrition Services team never say “no” to students when they ask to eat.”

The release adds that while around 70 percent of the students in the district qualify for free or reduced cost meals, there are many others who don’t officially qualify but frequently come up short when their parents can’t send the money.

“This poses a challenge to district staff. Hungry students can’t concentrate and won’t be successful learners. Serving alternate lunches, like a peanut butter sandwich, can be humiliating for a kid. But, like many school districts, NBSD has limited resources to pay for limitless free meals.”

Superintendent Andrew Kelly put the word out on the district’s Facebook page and, as of the second week of December, the community stepped up to provide over $8,800 to eliminate the existing gap and help pay future unpaid balances.

“I’m thankful to serve in a community that believes in the value of education and consistently pulls together for the benefit of our most precious commodity, our children,” Superintendent Kelly said.

All contributions have been being put in a specific account to ensure they are dedicated to unpaid school lunch bills. 

The district says that they will continue to work with parents that don’t qualify for subsidized lunches to pay down their balances, but these contributions have created a safety net for our students and their families.

Superintendent Kelly, and the NBSD staff, student and parents sent a thank you to all donors:

  • Bradley and Patricia Deibel $500
  • Harry Yanagimachi, $100
  • Poplin Construction, Inc, $1,000
  • Grays Harbor Plumbing Inc/Ocean Shores Storage Co. $1,000
  • Arrow Lumber in Ocean Shores, WA for $3,000
  • And two anonymous donors; one who pitched in $1,000 and another who added $2,221.85