MERIDIAN, Idaho — Idaho's largest school district is receiving a big donation to cover unpaid lunch bills.
The West Ada School District has been covering outstanding lunch debts with money from the district's general fund — pulling funds from other programs. The district recently put out a call for donations following the removal of COVID-19 food waivers.
Tuesday morning, the Scentsy Family Foundation announced that it will present a $32,000 donation on Thursday at the WASD School Nutrition Services department. The donation is to be put toward uncollected student lunch balances for the 2022-23 school year.
“We’re grateful that West Ada is continuing to provide lunches regardless of a child’s ability to pay. We believe happy, healthy families build vibrant communities, and we want to help ensure that hungry children have access to at least one meal during the day,” said Kellie Floto, Scentsy Director of Philanthropy and Community Relations. “We challenged our Consultants across the U.S. to support their local school districts, and we hope this contribution sparks more donations from businesses or individuals across the Treasure Valley.”
In a news release Tuesday morning, the West Ada School District said the $32,000 donation will have a "significant impact" on the uncollected student lunch balance, which started at about $100,000. Since launching the Dig for Change initiative in early March, the West Ada Education Foundation has received about $15,000 in donations.
“We’re so grateful for Scentsy and their foundation. We’re always going to make sure our students are fed, and their generous donation helps us do that while minimally impacting the district’s general fund,” said Kristen Homer, WASD School Nutrition Assistant Supervisor. “A fed student is a learning student, so Scentsy is positively and directly impacting West Ada student achievement."
To mitigate any future outstanding balances, the West Ada nutrition services team urges all parents to apply for free or reduced meals. If a student with an existing negative lunch balance qualifies for free or reduced meals, their existing negative balance will not be eradicated. However, their balance will not continue to accrue. Applications for free or reduced meals must be completed annually — parents and guardians can begin applying for free or reduced meals for the 2023-24 school year in August 2023.
If a parent or guardian has any questions about their student’s lunch balance, or would like to donate leftover funds from a previous school year, they may call the SNS office at 208-855-4575.
If you would like to donate toward the uncollected lunch balances, here are some options:
- Visit the West Ada Education Foundation donation page and select "Dig for Change - School Nutrition Services" from the dropdown menu when you submit your donation.
- Mail a check to the West Ada Education Foundation with “School Nutrition Services, uncollected student lunch balance” in the memo to 1303 E Central Drive, Meridian, ID 83642
- Make an in-person donation by visiting the West Ada District Service Center; 1303 E Central Drive, Meridian, ID 83642
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