A western South Dakota school district is thinking about turning delinquent lunch accounts over to a collection agency.
Unpaid accounts reportedly total around $7,800 for the Lead-Deadwood school district.
Principals usually deal with the overdue accounts. But the school board recently discussed enlisting the help of a bill collector to seek payments and to handle cases in small claims court.
The board hasn’t made a decision yet.
It’s not just the Lead-Deadwood school district that is dealing with lunch accounts that are past due.
As of last week, the Sioux Falls School district had over 1,600 students who had negative balances, totaling more than $20,000.
But one Sioux Falls restaurant has been committed for the past two years to making sure no child in the district goes hungry.
The Black Hills Federal Credit Union is banking on The Barrel House and its Hungry Hearts Foundation.
Tuesday it donated a check for $200 to help kickoff a fundraiser this Thursday.
“It’s going to be a huge event. The Barrel House is going to donate 50 percent of all of its sales on Thursday night to the Hungry Hearts,” The Barrel House general manager Terry Scheu said.
They’ll also be holding a silent auction where there are plenty of items to bid on; like prints by Terry Redlin, a fire pit, a grill and more.
“100 percent of the proceeds will be going to the Hungry Hearts and then we’ll have free will offerings. There’ll be boxes all over the restaurant. Anything that’s put inside a box, we are going to match it 100 percent,” Scheu said.
Ever since they announced the fundraiser, donations have been pouring in from all over, even places like Nebraska and Minnesota.
“We have a lot of customers, who jump on board, and we started it and it has just escalated since and there is a big need for it in Sioux Falls. And I think as the city grows, the need is only going to get bigger,” owner Mark Fonder said.
Thursday’s fundraiser is part of The Barrel House’s ongoing commitment that started two years ago. In that time, it’s raised over $270,000 to help feed school children in Sioux Falls.
“We are committed to the children. We want to make sure that if they don’t have the funds or the necessary resources in order to pay for their children to have a hot lunch, we want to be there to support them,” Scheu said.
The goal for the event is $10,000. To learn more about Thursday’s fundraiser and look at some of the items to bid on, click here.