School district reverses course, accepts CEO’s $22k for lunch bills

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Earlier this week, it was reported that a Pennsylvania school district declined Le Colombe CEO’s request to cover costs of school lunch debt, but now it appears as if they have changed their mind. 

It was reported that the Wyoming Valley West School foundation (which supports the school) will be accepting the donation of $22,467 from Todd Carmichael, La Colombe’s CEO, and co-founder. 

In a letter shared by the Wyoming Valley West School District, the board of directors stated that “We would like to acknowledge Mr. Todd Carmichael’s generous offer. We have been in touch with Michael Plaksin, president of the Wyoming Valley West Educational Foundation (previously established to benefit the students of our district). After discussions with Mr. Plaksin and all members of the Wyoming Valley West School Board, we have decided to accept Mr. Carmichael’s generous donation. It will be directed to the Wyoming Valley West Educational Foundation to eliminate the debt owed by the parents.” 

Original reports shared that President of Wyoming Valley West school board allegedly claimed that all the families who owed money could afford to pay for them. Despite this alleged statement, the district says they will be partaking in the Community Eligibility Program; this coming school year, which will provide all students in low-income areas with free breakfast and lunch. 

The board also addressed the 1,000 letters sent out claiming if parents didn’t pay their debts, their child could be removed from them. In the note, they apologized saying that “The Wyoming Valley West School District Board of Directors sincerely apologizes for the tone of the letter that was sent regarding lunch debt. It wasn’t the intention of the district to harm or inconvenience any of the families of our school district.”

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