News & Resources

Columbus students to receive automated phone calls about lunch debt

Aug 02, 2011 Mike Garretson

There are more than 17,000 students who owe lunch money to schools in Columbus, Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The inability to implement strict guidelines regarding the purchase of school lunches has landed the district $945,537 in debt, with many students owing $300 to $400 apiece. A new plan proposed by the Food Services Department would involved handing the debt over to a debt collection agency. Middle school and high school students would be denied food until the money they owed is recovered, and all indebted students will receive a daily automated phone call reminding them to pay. This isn't the first time a school district has considered using a debt collection agency to recover loss lunch funds. In March, the Hazelton, Pennsylvania, school board announced it would employ a collection firm to recoup $3,000 in unpaid fees, according to InsideARM. The news source notes agencies that take on this type of case lobby for a 70/30 split of funds recovered, with the school taking the larger portion.