Woman’s $10K donation goes toward Fauquier County school lunch debt

A woman’s donation will go toward paying off the school lunch debt of Fauquier County, Virginia, public school students in need.

Ann Anderson’s $10,000 donation will affect families who have qualified for reduced lunch or have shown that they are unable to pay, the school system said in a news release Monday.

“When Fauquier County Public Schools made the decision a couple of years ago to end the practice of ‘lunch shaming,’ we knew we’d need people like Ann Anderson to support this decision,” Superintendent Dr. David Jeck said in a statement.

In 2018, Virginia passed House Bill 50, which prohibits schools to require students who cannot pay for a meal or owe a meal debt to do chores or other work to pay for a meal, or wear a wrist band or hand stamp that identifies them.

The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2019 was passed by the U.S. Congress in April, which prohibits the stigmatization of a child who is unable to pay for meals provided by schools under the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program.

Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation Chair Stacie Griffin said a “great weight has been lifted for some families this holiday season,” thanks to the Warrenton woman’s generosity.

The Fauquier County Public School lunch debt is near $58,000, but the number changes as parents reconcile their accounts. The school said parents are encouraged to contact a school’s nutrition office to pay off any debt.

Families experiencing financial hardship may apply for school meal benefits by calling the school nutrition central office at (540) 422-7221.

People who want to make a donation to help with school lunch debt or other school programs may visit the Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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