There are many reasons for this lunch debt crisis. What is consistent is that across America schools and parents are struggling with lunch debt. The truth is that many children live in food-insecure homes but don’t qualify for free and reduced lunches-their parents or guardians might earn but a few dollars more than the threshold to meet the classification as economically disadvantaged. When that’s the case, these children must still pay for the full price of school lunches, which cost about $3.20 on average.

Pennsylvania school district tells parents to pay their lunch debt, or their kids will go into foster care