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December 12, 2018
The spirit of goodwill is alive and well in the Martin County School District this holiday season, thanks to the generosity of the School Lunch Fairy program. The non-profit organization, founded by two enterprising students in Wellington, Florida, has offered to donate $1,000 to the Martin County School District to pay down the balance of students’ unpaid lunch charges. Since its inception, the program has raised nearly $55,000 to pay for more than 27,000 student meals across the United States.
“We currently have close to $1,900 in unpaid lunch fees,” said Laura Holmedal, Director of Food & Nutrition Services for the Martin County School District. “More than fifty percent of our students are eligible for free or reduced price meals, and some of our families are on the borderline of eligibility and do not qualify for the benefits. Some of our students do not bring lunch from home and do not have the money to pay for a school lunch. This donation will wipe out more than half of the unpaid lunch fees accumulated by students throughout our county.”
Studies have shown that the availability of nutritious school lunches is critical to students’ health and well-being, especially for low-income students. Children who eat meals at school are able to focus on their academic lessons rather than on being hungry.  The District never turns students away from receiving meals due to inability to pay, but the cost to cover meals that are not eligible for reimbursement by the National School Lunch Program adds up quickly.
“Student success is our number one goal in Martin County,” Ms. Holmedal shares. “These donations contribute more than just meals to our students. They provide children with an option for healthy nutrition each day, which is a foundational piece for learning.”  
Those interested in making a donation to support the lunch account program in the Martin County School District are encouraged to contact the Food & Nutrition Services Department at (772) 223-2655 ext. 101.

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