EPHRATA - Last week, we had a story about an Ephrata mom who called for donations to take care of the school debt balance in the Ephrata School District.

Many answered the call and contributed over $2,000 towards that debt. School lunch debts are an issue in districts in which lunch programs are fully subsidized by the state. iFiber One News checked in with Moses Lake, Eastmont and Ephrata school districts which have negative lunch balances above $6,000. Ephrata Schools Food Services Director Debbie Cook says if you can’t make ends meet as a parent, the district will work with you.

“We don’t want kids to go hungry and kids are at their best when they are fed. We have a policy that states that anything outstanding $40 or more will be sent to collections, we try to notify parents at $20. Parents can apply for free and reduced lunches,” said Cook.

Unsung heroes like Consolidated Disposal of Ephrata paid $8,800 towards Ephrata’s lunch debt bringing the balance to $0 in December of last year. Consolidated also contributed money to schools in Warden and Othello bringing the total monetary contribution to $13,000.

“There’s a heavy budget and we figured how to help the burden is pay down school lunch debt so schools could focus on education for the kids instead of worrying about getting paid,” said Consolidated Disposal Owner Michael Dietrich. 

Dietrich says his company is considering donating again this year.