Dine with Dignity

Dine With Dignity 

student in cafeterialOn November 1, 2018, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) suspended its practice of distributing alternative meals to students who do not meet the qualifications for a free lunch program, and whose student lunch accounts were negative $10 or more. 

The Foundation created the Dine with Dignity Program to settle end-of-year school lunch debt balances accrued during the school year.  The program allows 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) pursues payment from families that do not qualify for FARMS.

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).

Other Food & Nutrition Initiaves

In addition to Dine with Dignity, the Foundation is pleased to support other food and nutrition initiaves for MCPS students. Last Spring we welcomed Starbucks volunteers, who delivered in-class school breakfast meals to middle school students. The meals are provided through the Maryland Meals for Achievement program. To learn more about the program, visit the MCPS Department of Food and Nutrition Services web page.

This summer the Starbucks store located at Bethesda Hyatt, Bethesda, MD is inviting customers to write notes of encouragement to students who are receiving summer meals. Learn more about our Summer Meals program, which provides free meals to students during the summer, visit our summer meals webpage.