Update: Chobani to pay school district lunch debt after local business owner’s offer was refused

Credit: Pixnio

After news spread of a Rhode Island school district’s decision to withhold hot lunches for students with outstanding debt, a leading yogurt company has stepped forward to wipe out the balance.

The announcement from Chobani came days after a related story Scope News previously covered.


An entrepreneur in Rhode Island says her effort to settle outstanding lunchroom debt was turned down by her local school district.

According to Angelica Penta, she approached administrators in Warwick with her proposal.

“Everything that I said got shut down,” she told reporters. “Every idea I had got shut down.”

The district is reportedly preparing to serve cold sandwiches to those students with an outstanding cafeteria balance.

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Nevertheless, officials explained why they responded to the restaurateur’s generosity with a no.

“Each time these offers were made, Warwick Public Schools stated that the school department was not in the position to single out or identify specific students that should be selected for a reduction in their lunch debt while excluding others,” a statement revealed.

For her part, Penta said she has raised roughly $12,000 and has found it easy to secure local donations for the cause. She continued the fundraiser in a Facebook post over the weekend.

“If you need help reach out to me,” she wrote. “There is no need for any child to be denied a hot lunch. We never know a child’s or their family’s situation, everyone struggles at some point.”

UPDATE: Penta has established an online fundraiser to continue collecting for the outstanding school lunch balances. Click here to visit the GoFundMe account.

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