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Rhode Island school district hires collection agency to round up overdue balances for student lunches


A R.I. school district is fed-up with eating lunch debts. (AFP Contributor / AFP/Getty Images)

There’s no such thing as a free lunch at these schools.

A collection agency had been hired to harass parents into settling their children’s delinquent school lunch tabs in a Rhode Island school district that claims it ate $95,000 in unpaid bills over the past two school years and is owed $45,000 for the current one.

“The District lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue,” Cranston School District chief operating officer Raymond Votto Jr. wrote in a letter to the parents of its roughly 11,000 students last week.

According to NBC affiliate WJAR, the services of Transworld Systems has been attained to collect payment from households whose kids’ lunches are more than 60 days past due on bills of $20 or more. The company begins its contract on Jan. 2.

Lunches for grade school kids in the district reportedly cost $2.50 per day, while middle schoolers and high school students pay $3.25 per meal.

The idyllic town of Cranston claims pageant winner Olivia Culpo, “The View” host Elizabeth Hasselbeck and boxing champ Vinny Paz as natives. Money magazine rated Cranston one one of its “Best 100 Places to Live” in 2010. It has also been ranked one of the safest cities in the country.