Understanding School Lunch Debt in Fairfax County

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Recently, the issue of school lunch debt in Fairfax and other counties has garnered increasing attention.  No one likes the thought of students being denied access to food.

FCPS has a strict policy that prohibits the practice of “lunch shaming” or denying food to a student whose school lunch account is in arrears. Instead, the FCPS Food and Nutrition Services office is required by law to communicate directly with parents, not students, to notify them of outstanding balances.

Lunch debt accrues due to a number of factors, including simple oversight, but it is not related to students who currently receive free or reduced meals (FRM), as these accounts do not incur debt. Lunch debt varies greatly within FCPS schools and it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact need at a specific school at a given moment.

The Foundation for FCPS accepts contributions to off-set student lunch debt in our school system.  For the greatest impact, we ask that you earmark donations for “Erase School Lunch Debt” and not for a specific school. This will allow FCPS Food and Nutrition Services to clear the accounts of students who were not accepted for FRM benefits or who are awaiting approval of these benefits.

We are grateful for the generous donors who want to assist this effort.  To contribute, please click on the Donate Now button and type "Erase School Lunch Debt" in the donor note field.