Community shows true colors by paying off debt | Kind of Day

By Brian Soergel | Jun 02, 2017

In a page one story in this week’s Beacon, Rick Steves implored those with means to support the Edmonds Waterfront Center – a brand-new shiny thing scheduled to replace the rapidly aging Senior Center. It’ll be a place where seniors will still be served with programs and activities.

“The mark of a community, to a large extent, is how they care for their seniors,” Steves says in the article.

We already know how Edmonds – as well as the rest of south Snohomish County – takes care of its students. Edmonds School District levies generally pass by wide margins, allowing the oldest schools to get freshened up and retrofitted for safety, as well as allowing for new construction, school programs and technology innovations.

All is for naught if kids in schools are hungry.

Those in low-income homes are helped through free- or reduced-cost meals. But sometimes, as so often happens in life, kids can slip through the cracks. Example: In the past, those unable to pay for meals at school could ring up considerable debt for the district.

The district even stopped sending notices home to families – citing expenses – instead asking parents and guardians to check their Skyward Family Access accounts or to call or visit their child’s school.

Many families may recall receiving notices that their students would not be able to graduate or move on, and transcripts held, unless they paid off their debts.

Here’s the good news: Due to a heroic community response, the district’s $7,000-plus inactive student school-meal debt has been paid off. In fact, 36 donors as of May 25 donated more than $7,400.

The district notified families of the 755 students who had meal debt that their balances owed are now zero. Of those, 60 are graduating seniors.

Donations will continue to be accepted, eliminating the need for courtesy meals in the 2017-18 school year.

When students could not pay for food or did not bring in any from home, they would be given cereal and milk for breakfast, and a cheese sandwich, raisins and apple juice for lunch. This saved the district money, as it did not have to pay the considerably higher price for a full meal.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to make a donation, you can mail it to the Edmonds School District, Food & Nutrition Services, 20420 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood, WA 98036. You should designate which school or schools where you want your money applied.

Online donations also are accepted at

No matter the circumstance, kids should never go hungry at school.



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