Since March of 2016, the Douglas School District Food Service Office has offered an Angel Fund meal program for students who do not have funds available in their account to purchase that day’s hot lunch. Such programs are popular nationwide and serve a vital purpose: keeping our kids fed, healthy, and engaged. Like many of those other programs, Douglas’s Angel Fund program is funded entirely through donations, not taxpayer funds or district budget allocations. Donations are received via direct giving from the Douglas community and the voluntary transfer of funds leftover in closed student and staff accounts. Through your generosity, the program has provided over 3,875 meals to district students at all grade levels.
Consistent availability of the Angel Fund has been a welcome helping hand to many students and families. Regrettably, that same consistency has also been abused by other families who are using the program as their lunch plan or who fail to responsibly plan for their child’s lunches. To address those circumstances the food service office implemented restrictions on Angel Fund use. For some time, student use of the Angel Meal program has been limited to one time per week and a total of three times per year, per student. This has been effective at curbing misuse of the program and manages the many generous donations the district receives more responsibly and consistent with the donor’s original intent.
During the Board of Education meeting on January 13, the board unanimously approved the second reading of policy LDJ – Monetary Donations for Meals (Angel Fund). This policy governs the financial management and accountability of the Angel Fund program and codifies our existing practices. The Angel Fund will continue to provide meals as intended to eligible students. When a student has used their allowance of Angel Meals, they will not be left unfed. Those students will be provided an alternative meal of a sandwich with condiments and a healthy side. If the student’s family makes a donation to the Angel Fund, their eligibility for Angel Fund meals will be renewed. Informal implementation of this practice has already reduced misuse, the new policy formalizes those procedures. A copy of the policy is available to any member of the public upon request.
The health, safety, and welfare of Douglas students is our top priority. Similarly, we also place a priority on responsibly managing our resource and your generosity. We trust that the actions of the administration and board tonight will meet both objectives. If you are willing to help support the Angel Fund with your generous donation, please contact the food service office at (605)923-0056, or you can donate via the Douglas Parent Portal.
Douglas School Board