David A. Walker
A Hampden man named Dave, who refused to give his last name, said Thursday he went to Sam's Club in Bangor, where he bought 10 loaves of bread and two big jars each of peanut butter and strawberry jam he later delivered to the school in Old Town.
"Kids who are denied lunch can at least have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich," he
said on Thursday.
RSU 34 Superintendent David A. Walker said on Tuesday that starting this week and continuing through the last day of school on June 11, students who owe money on their school lunch accounts won't be fed.
"We don't want a child to go without lunch, but at the same token, the taxpayers expect us to collect what's due to us," Walker
said on Tuesday.
However, snacks are available in the guidance office, he
did not return phone messages seeking comment on Thursday.
Walker said the policy of not serving kids who have delinquent bills during the last week of school has been in place for the eight years he has been the superintendent of RSU 34.
However, it was not an official policy approved by the school board.
"This board has not had a meal charging policy, which I'm guessing from the discussion [Tuesday] is something they'll need to have," Walker
"If the board decides they don't want to do business this way, then that's what we'll do."
policy has been effective because he
ends up collecting the money owed to the school.
Written notices are mailed periodically to parents and phone calls are made informing them of balances owed.
After students are out of school, he
loses that contact with the student and parents and collecting the money gets much more difficult.
The policy is only enforced at the middle and high school levels, he
previously said there are about 1,500 students in the school system.
"You could have 50-75 accounts that are delinquent that are anywhere between $5 and $250," said Walker
"If I have $2,500 worth of unpaid lunches, then I take $2,500 from [the] general fund to pay for it.
That's $2,500 that is not used for textbooks or other things.
Resources are fairly scarce."
of Hampden said the food he
bought cost $36.36.
was greeted nicely at the Old Town middle school on Thursday, he
The donation was accepted, he
said, but he
was told that it was unnecessary.