Schools across the North East are owed nearly £200,000 in unpaid school dinner money, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.
In most councils there has been an increase in the amount owed, forcing councils to take the money from the rest of the education budget.
Some families owe more than £800, while more and more are struggling to pay.
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Icy first thing and windy, with wintry showers lingering further south, especially at the coast. Brighter elsehwere
Emma brings you Saturday's forecast
Longest spell of winter so far. Bitterly cold with further wintry showers