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Numerica pays off student lunch debt

$25,000 Given to School Districts to Reduce Student Lunch Debt

Numerica Credit Union gave $25,000 to Title 1 elementary schools in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities, and Coeur d’Alene school districts to help pay off student lunch debt.

The donation was inspired by the student lunch debt crisis and was the impactful, year-end gift that Numerica Credit Union’s President and CEO, Carla Cicero, was looking for.  

 “Carrying student lunch debt heavily impacts the well-being of parents struggling to make ends meet,” said Cicero. “This $25,000 investment is one way Numerica can help our children live well by relieving a financial burden for hundreds of families.”

According to National School Lunch Program, free and reduced lunches make up nearly 75% of meals served to students each day, but many families just above the poverty line may not qualify for assistance with the cost of meals for their children.   

Numerica check for $6,127 to Spokane Public Schools

Median lunch debt per school district is $2,000-$2,500  

Federal funds for school meals only cover the cost of meals for students who are eligible for and enrolled in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This leaves many families that qualify but haven’t enrolled in the program struggling to afford their children’s school lunches.

For the 2019-2020 school year, a family of four with an annual gross income of less than $47,638 is eligible for reduced price meals. Families earning even slightly more are responsible for covering lunch expenses in full, which can be financially taxing for a family trying to make ends meet.

Across the country, the student lunch debt crisis is on the rise. Nearly 75% of school districts reported having unpaid student meal debt, increasing 70% in the past five years according to the School Nutrition Association (SNA). SNA also reports that the median school lunch debt per school district is $2,000-2,500.

Student lunch debt not only impacts school districts, but also the wellness of families carrying financial obligations.

“Numerica’s donations to 13 school districts with Title 1 elementary schools will give families a fresh start in the New Year, easing the strain carrying debt often has on emotional health,” said Cicero.

Numerica check for $3,676 presented to Pasco School District

Give where you live

For many children, school lunches are a vital part of their nutrition. Numerica’s donation to help reduce student lunch debt aligns with the credit union’s passion for fostering education, supporting women and children, and working to end hunger.

The $25,000 gift is part of Numerica’s core purpose to enhance lives, fulfill dreams, and build communities. In 2019, Numerica gave back more than $2 million, while employees donated over 21,000 hours in the community.

Numerica check for $1,715 presented to Coeur d'Alene School District

Want to learn how Numerica gave back in 2019? Check out Numerica’s community giving programs.

If your organization or favorite nonprofit is looking for support and your mission focuses on issues like poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, crisis intervention and access to quality education, check out Numerica’s Charitable Fund.

Applications for 2020 are open from January 1 to February 23, 2020 for non-profits in the Spokane, Spokane Valley, North Idaho, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee Valley areas.

Numerica loves to lend a helping hand through Numerica employee donations and sponsorships. If you’re looking for Numerica staff to volunteer at an event or to be the benefit of a donation request (less than $250), please fill out a Community Sponsorship application.

 Numerica check for $1,225 presented to Wenatchee School District

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