Educational Foundation Receives Major Donations for Dine with Dignity
The MCPS Educational Foundation has received two major donations totaling $60,000 for its Dine with Dignity campaign, which raises awareness and funds to address student lunch debt. Two family-owned businesses—Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center and DARCARS Automotive Group—have each donated $30,000 to the Foundation. These two significant donors join a community of contributors who have given almost $90,000 to Dine with Dignity since the start of the 2019–2020 school year. These donations will clear debt amassed from the start of the school year.
Student lunch debt is a critical issue facing school districts across the nation.
In the 2017–2018 school year, 34,000 traditional school lunches were exchanged for alternative meals and given to students who did not qualify for the free lunch program and whose lunch account balances were negative $10 or more. The alternative meal identified the students to their peers as not having money to buy lunch, increasing the potential for the students’ embarrassment.
The Foundation launched Dine with Dignity in 2018, creating a fund to help the district settle unpaid lunch balances and to allow students with negative account balances to enjoy traditional lunch choices.