How Denver families can donate unused school lunch money to feed those in need

With schools closed for at least the next month, Denver families can donate unused lunch money already in their virtual accounts to provide meals to families in need.

The idea originated with a parent who contacted the Denver Public Schools Foundation to see how she could help. The parent, who wants to remain anonymous, mentioned that she had lunch money in her children’s “My School Bucks” account that they wouldn’t use while schools are closed to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, the foundation said.

The foundation loved the idea. Now, other families can donate their unused lunch money by filling out this form.

The money goes to the foundation’s Food Security Fund, which has been paying for meals for adults in need during the week and on weekends. The adult meals are distributed at the same locations where the district is giving out free meals for children under 18.

The Food Security Fund was started in mid-March and has raised more than $500,000 from more than 1,100 donors, said Ashley Muramoto, communications director for the foundation, which supports Denver Public Schools. About two-thirds of the district’s 92,000 students are from low-income families.

Verónica Figoli, the president and CEO of the foundation, said she has already donated the lunch money from her two children’s accounts.

“It’s times like these where we must come together — whatever that may look like — to ensure we can make it across the finish line,” Figoli said in a statement.