Thousands of parents across the region are sending their children to school without the money for their school lunch.
It has led to such a backlog in payments, that councils are being forced to cut back their education budgets to make up the shortfall.
An ITV Tyne Tees Freedom of Information request revealed parents owe nearly £200,000 to the region's schools and the number is rising year on year.
Watch our education correspondent Dan Ashby's report here:
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Kerrie Gosney brings you Saturday night's forecast
A 19-year-old woman has sadly died from her injuries. Another female has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Drying up overnight into Sunday. Unsettled into Monday