Debt Collectors Over Kids’ School Lunch Bills? It’s Real

Candrice Jones thought she was in the clear. It was the fall of 2015, and she had just submitted the necessary paperwork to secure free lunch for her son Kyrie, a seventh-grader at Coolidge Junior High School in Granite City, Illinois. This, she believed at the time, would lift a significant economic load off her plate. Jones was working various part-time handwork jobs for a temp company, and her husband was unemployed after suffering injuries in a car accident. Previously, he’d worked in warehousing. She couldn’t afford to cover the cost of a full-price, hot school meal every day—not if she wanted to pay the bills, too.