Dine with Dignity

Dine With Dignity 

student in cafeterialLast year, 34,000 traditional school lunches were exchanged for alternative meals and given to students who do not meet the qualifications for a free lunch program, and whose student lunch accounts were negative $10 or more. The replacement occurs at the point of checkout, and readily identifies the student to peers as not having money to buy lunch.

The Foundation supports a program that would allow students to receive the lunch of their choice, and also would work with parents to: a) explain the importance of nutrition in  academic achievement; b) help the parent to apply for Free and Reduced-priced Meal  System (FARMS) if the family qualifies; c) work with parents who do not qualify for free meals to make a contribution within their means toward the arrears balance of the account.

Help for this issue is on the way. Last May, Maryland's Governor approved legislation that will phase-in State reimbursement to county boards, for the student portion of all reduced-priced meals. The State Department of Education - Breakfast and Lunch Programs - Funding (Maryland Cares for Kids Act), went into effect July 1, 2018 and achieves full funding in 2023.

In the meantime, the Dine with Dignity Campaign is working to ensure that Montgomery County students will not have to wait until 2023 to enjoy lunch free from concerns about self-respect.

To support this program, donate online, or on your cell phone (text DINE to 301-329-2238).

We launched an awareness campaign! The fundraising scoreboard below shows gifts made by text as they are received.  Additional contributions made online and by check have been added to the total.  Find out more.