Western Wyoming Beverage launches School Lunch Payoff Program

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Photo from Western Wyoming Beverage

Carly Eversole, [email protected]

Rock Springs, Wyoming – While in years past, Western Wyoming beverages(WWB) has held their Pack out Hunger event along with Cans for Cans food drive in December, this year an additional program will be offered. Pepsi’s School Lunch Payoff program is now being launched through WWB as another way the community can help students who have fallen behind with their school lunch balance for any number of reasons.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a program was created by the USDA funding school lunches. This program has since expired and put a financial burden on many families. Although free and reduced meals are an option through the school district, this resource often goes underutilized or simply doesn’t help enough. Students are allowed to overdraw their account to be able to eat meals at school, but once that overdraw reaches a certain limit meals can be denied to students.

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This is where WWB steps in with a desire to help those kids. According to a press release CEO Sean Valentine says “I have always been inspired hearing stories of people who pay off the school lunch debt for the students in their community. We routinely have people that cannot attend one of our current food drive events and ask, “how else can I help?” After meeting with administrators from our local school district and hearing how real the problem is in Sweetwater County, the school lunch payoff idea was born. While individually we might not have the means to go pay off the school lunch debt for an entire district, collectively if we all chip in a little we can do a lot of good for the young people in our community.”

School lunch debt on average is about $15, so WWB is encouraging those who wish to help to begin with that amount or they can donate $23 to help students start the year with a positive debt balance.

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Once the monetary donations are collected through their website they will then deliver the funds to the administrators who will disperse it evenly and fairly to students they know need the help.

“This could be the only nutritious meal these kids receive in a day and we want to help to make sure that isn’t denied to them.” continued Valentine.

To donate, please click here

Donations can be made until the deadline of December 14. All donations this year will be going to Sweetwater School District #1, with hopes that the success of this pilot program can lead to expansion to other districts.

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