Dad Offers To Clear Dinner Debt After School Threatens To Not Feed Children
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A dad has pledged to pay the school meal debts of parents after the headteacher demanded they cough up or their children would not be fed.
Simon Harris, from Essex, said he would pay the £1,800 owed by mums and dads at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, Wales.
In a tweet, he said that he just wanted to put an end to the "madness of kids potentially going hungry".
He wrote: "As it has been reported that you've told your chef not to serve meals to pupils who are more than 2p in debt due to a £1,800 deficit in your catering budget, I am more than happy to cover this amount from some recent fundraising to end this madness. Let me know."
The dad-of-four later wrote on Facebook: "I've just made this genuine offer to the management of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle on Twitter.
"I will absolutely cover their catering deficit if it stops this madness of kids potentially going hungry."
Mr Harris told the Daily Post that after being informed of what was going on, he just had to do something.
He said: "We could all sit here and argue about 'parents who can afford it but won't pay' and 'parents spending the cash on whatever else instead' until the cows come home.
"All I'm interested in is putting this rubbish to bed and getting the kids fed.
"One problem at a time."
It comes after school's headmaster, Neil Foden, sent out a letter to parents informing them that he was going to instruct the school chef not to give food to any child whose parents' "debt has not been cleared".
He wrote: "Closer inspection revealed that this was because a handful of pupils had run up debts totalling more than £1,800. Unfortunately, this means that I have had to take the following steps.
Here's the letter from the governors of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle confirming that no child will be refused a school meal over debt. Many thanks to Darren Owen for sending it over (the guy who originally stood up and told the world about it all). pic.twitter.com/hA8YL6I6hH
- Simon Harris - #LovelyBitOfSquirrel (@simonharris_mbd) November 12, 2021
"All debts of over £0.01 will receive a message from the school to clear debts and credit the system by Friday, November 19th."
Defending his position, Mr Foden said: "We don't want to tar everyone with the same brush, but realistically, those parents who can pay but won't pay, something has to be done."
However, the chair of the governors of the school, Sara Lloyd Evans, has since sent out another letter telling parents that no child will be refused food, and apologising for the distress caused by the initial letter.
She wrote: "The welfare of our students is a priority for the governing body and this governing body would not support any system which would refuse to serve a school meal to any pupil.
"Once again, I apologise for the worry that has been caused."