A Rhode Island school system has hired a collection agency to chase down lunch debt

The Cranston district has written off nearly $100,000 in unpaid lunch bills since September 2016.

Lunch being served at a school cafeteria.
Lunch being served at a school cafeteria. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe, File

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island school system has hired a collection agency to chase down unpaid student lunch tabs.

Cranston schools chief operating officer Raymond Votto Jr. tells the Providence Journal the district has written off nearly $100,000 in unpaid lunch bills since September 2016. This year already, the unpaid balance is nearly $46,000.

The problem is when children overdraw lunch accounts set up by their parents.

Votto says no student will be denied lunch. But students who owe money won’t be able to buy supplemental items that aren’t included with the regular meal.

Votto says they decided to bring in a collection agency after the district’s own collection efforts failed. Collections will start in January.

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