Dine with Dignity

Dine With Dignity 

Dine with Dignity Logo 2021

At is May 10, 2022 meeting, the BOE approved Policy JPH, School Food and Nutritional Services Programs, which does not allow alternative meals to be served to students with accrued meal debt. Payment of the debt will be sought from the parents/guardians. 

In 2022-2023, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will reimburse the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) for all reduced-price meals served to students participating in Free And Reduced-priced Meals System (FARMS). This funding is as a result of the 2018 Maryland Cares for Kids Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly.  When fully funded the Act will reimburse Boards of Education for all meals served to students who qualify to participate in FARMS.

In the upcoming school year (FY2023), Dine with Dignity will raise $150,000 to settle anticipated unpaid meal debt accrued by MCPS students.  The funds will address debt accrued by students while their families wait for approval to receive free meals through FARMS.  


In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Cares for Kids Act.  When fully funded in 2025, the Act will reimburse Maryland Boards of Education for all meals provided through the Free And Reduced-priced Meals System. In the same year, the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE), stopped the practice of serving alternative meals to MCPS students with meal debt greater than or equal to $10.  In response to the BOE decision, the MCPS Educational Foundation established the Dine with Dignity Fund to settle unpaid school meal balances.  MCPS Students were allowed to receive a traditional lunch option even if they were in debt.  Since 2018, the fund has settled meal debt totaling $235,579 for more than 16,000 students.

In 2020, two-thirds (137) of our schools accrued a debt of $1,500 or less for the school year. Another twenty-three percent (48) of our schools accrued an annual school lunch debt in the range of $2,500-$3,800. Seven percent of our schools (15) accrued annual school meal debt between $5,000- $9,999. And three percent of our schools (6) accrued school lunch debt greater than $10,000 for the year.

Dine with Dignity now offers donors the option to Sponsor a School. Sponsoring a school doesn't require the whole amount to be given in one payment. Many sponsors make recurring gifts (bi-weekly or monthly) of amounts ranging from $10 to $100 to support their school.

Sponsor a School          OR          Donate Now 

OR donate on your cell phone by texting DINE to 301-329-2238