Gainesville Mom Raises Money to Pay Off School Lunch Debt

| June 9, 2017 | 0 Comments | Education

Adelle Settle with the NBC4 team that interviewed.

Adelle Settle, new to Gainesville, has set up a Go-Fund-Me page to help pay down the debt on school lunches at Prince William County Schools, especially for kids in need.

Settle was shocked to hear that in some places in the country, students can be denied a school lunch, if they cannot pay.

Prince William County Schools do not deny students lunch. The students’ parents will instead incur a debt.

After $50 owed, that debt goes to collections. If it is still not paid at the end of the year, the individual schools must eat that debt, negatively affecting their operating budgets.

Settle wants to raise $160,000 to pay off the amount of lunch debt currently in collections. She also wants to relieving families in need of their financial burdens.

While $160,000 is in collections, $300,000 is the total past due to food services.

“That is a huge number,” said Settle. “I was surprised. I was not expecting such a sum.”

Some schools carry a larger debt than others, especially those with more student receiving reduced lunch. One high school alone has incurred $20,000 in food service debt, a sum that could limit student opportunities.

Before Settle began working directly with PWCS Food Services, she contacted her local elementary school, Buckland Mills, and worked with them through donations to pay off their food service debt. She then contacted other schools located in Gainesville and Bristow, and did the same.

As the out-reach became more and more successful, she coordinated efforts with food services to maximize the impact and focus it where the need is greatest within Prince William Schools.

Settle is collecting funds that will first help families of children who qualify for reduced cost lunches. After that, the funds will help everyone. The funds will go directly to pay the student’s debt, alleviating the worry and financial burden for the parents.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to raise the full 160,000” she said, but she’s happy it will be applied in a systematic way, and that it is already making a dent in what is owed.

While Settle is a mom, her daughter is only two-years-old. Settle is also new to the county.

Nonetheless, Settle is making a big difference in her new community. At this point donations are close to $6,000.

Readers can donate at Settle’s go fund me page.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Education

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