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November 21, 2019

Helping Students Isn't Political

Guest Columnist

Seth Eisenberg

 

75% of all school districts in the U.S. have some level of student lunch debt.  Some are low, while others are well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I read that and thought, do Frederick County Public Schools have student lunch debt like this?

 

With the help of Cindy Rose, we found out the local student lunch debt as of October 23, 2019 is $8,355.34.

 

That’s not that bad, it could be worse. Some schools had only $2.00 worth of unpaid lunch debt while others were over $800!

 

According to FCPS, no child is denied a lunch if they can’t pay.  With a debt total relatively low in comparison to other states and the Frederick County Board of Education having a $600 million dollar budget, why is there any debt at all?

 

That’s an issue for another time.  The students and families struggling to pay need help NOW and obviously it wasn’t going to come from the Board of Education.  Couldn’t our a communities do something about it?

 

We decided to start asking our Frederick County friends and neighbors to help pay this debt off for the students and their families. I didn’t think it would get much of a response, maybe a couple of hundred to pay off two or three schools and then the public would lose interest.

 

We were shocked by the numbers of people willing to help and how much they gave towards paying off the debt. Some gave $50 others gave hundreds, the Frederick County Conservative Club, that I’m a proud board member of, was the first and so far the only club, to donate and pay off a school’s entire lunch debt.

 

I have received texts and emails from people and businesses asking what they could do to help. The entire community came together, almost overnight, to help the families in our area that are in need.

 

Like most things, we discovered there are people in our community that want to attack others for trying to help; to find fault in those helping.

 

In the November 16, 2019 The Frederick News Post article County Conservative Club leads effort to pay off school lunch debts, in the comments section was such an attack.  The person wrote this effort was a “token high-publicity effort”, they went on to say that conservatives were to blame for this mess in the first place.

 

Rather than just saying it was great to see people from all over the county coming together to help struggling families, they had to make it a political thing. Now, I’m a conservative, obviously, and find that statement to be false and more opinion than fact. The conservatives I know, and think I can speak for, are very giving people and have no problem helping ANYONE that is struggling.

 

If someone is struggling and doing everything they can to get by but are still having a hard time, no conservative would be against giving that person a hand-up.  As matter of fact most, not all, but most of the donations so far are from conservatives. The bottom line is we were looking for ways to help.  No one is doing this for the publicity or to be famous, we saw a need in our community and did something about it. If anything, this should show everyone that more government isn’t the answer, communities taking care of themselves has been and always will be the answer.

 

If you’d like to contribute to the unpaid lunch debt of your neighborhood school, please contact Mr. Eisenberg via his Facebook page Citizens for Jonah Seth Eisenberg.



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