Windsor Public Schools Announce Program to Help With School Lunch Debt

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Windsor Public Schools is helping families who may struggle to pay for their student's lunch. The program was started by an anonymous person who wanted to help the school district.

Food shaming and food insecurities are two problems many school districts across the country and inside Connecticut face.

But, thanks to a generous donation by a person who wants to remain anonymous, the school district is able to help families when they fall on hard times.

Lianna Jorgensen is the principal at Sage Park Middle School and gets a first-hand look at how some students may feel if their school lunch balance is in the negative.

"These students may go through a lot of embarrassment," said Jorgensen. "Complete embarrassment."

Jorgensen believes not having enough money can affect a student's ability to learn.

"A lot of kids may not be understanding when a student's parents may go through hard times," said Jorgensen. "So, you have one issue, unfolding into several different ones."

The food program received a $5,000 donation and officials are looking for ways to grow it.

"We started a program where families and citizens and people living outside of Windsor can help contribute to a fund," said Dr. Craig Cook, superintendent of Windsor Public School. "We would then distribute the monies to the schools so they could then meet the needs of the students."

The initiative buys parents more time to pay for their children's bills if they're applying for free or reduced lunches.

"There may be a family that might have an issue for a short amount of time that has fallen behind on their kid's meal account," said Cook. "We want to be able to provide our students and allow them to focus on their education.

School leaders within the Windsor School District are hoping the program will cut down on emotional stress and keep students focused.

"If your basic physiological needs aren't met, then there's no way you can make yourself available to learning," said Jorgensen.

The school district also has the "Weekend Wheels" program to help kids. The program provides students with meals to take home and eat throughout the weekend.

If you would like to make a donation to the fund, you are asked to call Windsor Public Schools.

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