We’ve all heard the disturbing stories of kids who have built up a lunch debt at their school and all of a sudden are denied a hot meal in the school cafeteria. They are embarrassed and the school district ends up with bad publicity. Brighton has a better way of handling student lunch debts.

It’s a good situation when a child from a low income family is able to get a hot lunch and not have to worry about being able to pay for it. And that’s the case in Brighton, where the money from a corporate donation is being used to pay off student lunch debts. That was the case last year, and the same thing is being done again this year. At its meeting Monday night, the Brighton Board of Education accepted the gift of $3,500 from The State Bank for the “Change for Kids” program. According to Brighton Assistant Superintendent for Finance Michael Engelter, 100% of the funds from the donation in the 2018-19 school year were used to pay off student lunch debts, and those funds were augmented by private individual donations.

Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI that the State Bank has been doing the program for several years now. And, although the donations can be used for anything that benefits kids, Brighton has been using the bulk of the funds to pay the lunch debts of students who have built up a debt in the hot lunch program.

Gray stresses that when kids have their nutritional needs met during the day, they perform better in the classroom, resulting in a win-win situation — both for the student and the school district. (TT)