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Charity Pays Off Student Lunch Debt In Prince William

Patch logo Patch 6/30/2020 Mark Hand
a tray of food with broccoli: The nonprofit group, Settle the Debt, collected donations totaling $45,601.30 that paid off the full meal debts at 24 schools across Prince William County. © Shutterstock The nonprofit group, Settle the Debt, collected donations totaling $45,601.30 that paid off the full meal debts at 24 schools across Prince William County.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA — A local charity delivered a check to Prince William County Public Schools Monday to pay the money owed to the county by families that cannot afford their children's lunches. The nonprofit group, Settle the Debt, collected donations totaling $45,601.30 that went to the school system to pay off the full meal debts at 24 schools across the county.

Adelle Settle, founder of the group, delivered the check to Adam Russo, director of School Food and Nutrition Services at Prince William County Public Schools.

In 2019, the group raised nearly $25,000 to help families pay down their lunch debt. At the end of each year, the Prince William County Public Schools system sends parents lunch bills for their children's meals. For families unable to pay for the meals and who owe more than $50, the school system sends the bills to collection agencies.

For the school year that just ended, Settle the Debt's donation paid off the full meal debts of families who have children who attend the following schools in Prince William County:

  • Alvey
  • Ashland
  • Bel Air
  • Buckland Mills
  • Chris Yung
  • Featherstone
  • Fred Lynn Middle
  • Gainesville Middle
  • Glenkirk
  • Gravely
  • Haymarket
  • Lake Ridge Elementary
  • Lake Ridge Middle
  • Mountain View
  • The Nokesville School
  • Old Bridge
  • Pace West
  • Pennington
  • Piney Branch
  • Tyler
  • Victory
  • Woodbridge High
  • Woodbridge Middle
  • Yorkshire

“We wish we could have delivered to the principals again, and danced around with a big fake check, but hopefully next year we can get back to celebrating with the schools," the group said Monday on its Facebook page.

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