Marietta Hall says she’d hoped more people would turn out for a fundraiser to help pay off school lunch charges. But she says she isn’t letting the low turnout get her down.
“I had six people show up, and five of those were pastors,” she said.
Hall organized a fundraiser Tuesday night to help pay off unpaid school meal charges for Whitfield County Schools students.
School policy requires that if elementary school students have five unpaid lunches and middle and high school students have three unpaid breakfasts or lunches, they will be given a cheese sandwich and milk if they can’t pay for lunch that day. Those who have money can pay for a full meal without having to make their account current.
School officials said they had to institute the policy because of the growing problem of students not paying for meals. At one point, the total outstanding fees for those unpaid lunches reached $73,000.
Hall said she was upset to find that some children were only being offered a cheese sandwich for lunch.
“I know how it is to struggle. We have a problem in this country with hunger. I know there are children that the school lunch might be the only meal they get,” she said.
She deposited the $150 she raised in a bank account at First Bank of Dalton that will be used to pay down unpaid charges so students who have them can get a full meal.
“I would encourage the parents of children who owe money to pay it off if they can, and I’d like for those who can donate to help pay down the rest to do so,” she said.
Those interested in donating can talk to any teller at any of the bank’s branches and ask to make a deposit to the “School Lunch Program Assistance Group.”