News & Resources

Maryland school covets lunch debt

Nov 26, 2011 Mike Garretson

Charles County, Maryland, school officials recently decided to obtain help with collections for parents who write bad checks for their kids' school lunches, WJLA-TV reports. Most parents in Charles County pay for their childrens' hot lunch in advance by sending in checks. However, when those checks bounce, the school is left having to devote resources to recovery. To avoid enlisting employees to do collections w0rk, the school went the debt collection route - which was fitting considering the more than $1,000 in bounced checks it has had this year, and the more than $7,000 it's still attempting to recover from last year. Parents interviewed by the news source expressed differing opinions. "I think if you bounce the check it should go through the proper procedures," resident Jeff Huffman told the media outlet. However, parent Michelle Brookes stated, "I don't think it should be handled by a collection agency." The school system will be the fourth in the area to receive help with collections. A bounced check won't result in a child being denied lunch, but rather a $35 dollar state penalty to the check writer.