Non-profit raises money to pay off student lunch debt


We decided to become a non-profit to raise as much money as we can to alleviate this concern

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WDVM)– Some students in Prince William County Public Schools don’t have to worry if they’re able to afford or eat that day during lunch. The non-profit organization Settle the Debt is there to help make sure kids aren’t turned down a meal as they type in their lunch numbers.

Adelle Settle, Founder of Settle The Debt said it began as a GoFundMe. “We were just trying to pay off a couple debts at nearby schools but we realized it was just a much larger problem and that kids all over the county were really struggling to pay for their meals and so we decided to become a non-profit to raise as much money as we can to alleviate this concern.”

The organization started off paying three schools in the county and has now expanded to helping 30 other schools.

Settle said, “We’ve been able to pay off over 30 elementary schools, as well as take good care of the lunch debt at several very large high schools, not entirely pay them off but we came very close.”

With the help of officials in the community, residents, and supporters, the non-profit surpassed there goal last year raising $53,000. Also two days before the new year $589 was given to Old Bridge Elementary School.

Anita Flemons, Principal at Old Bridge Elementary said “I couldn’t be more excited we have a budget crunch this year and the more money and the more support that we can get helps us to continue to provide a quality education for all of our students and the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not our students are able to have a nutritious lunch everyday.”

Settle said there has been several donors who have contacted the organization giving them over a thousand dollars.

“I am so thankful and so grateful to have this debt paid off so that’s one less thing as a principal I need to worry about,” said Flemons.

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