Columbus City Schools’ food-service program lost $1.75 million this past school year, including about $300,000 in uncollected debt from students who were required to pay for meals but didn’t, reports the Columbus Dispatch. That is actually better than projections that anticipated a $2.12 million deficit. Part of the problem is participation, which the district would like to raise to 85 percent for lunch and 70 percent for breakfast. Last year they were at 71 percent for lunch and 48.5 percent for breakfast.
One strategy being considered is offering universal free lunch and breakfast, a federal program for which the district qualifies.