MCPS gets Total of $60,000 in Donations to Help Student Lunch Debt

Two Montgomery County-based businesses donated a total of $60,000 to the Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Dine with Dignity program to help alleviate student lunch debt. 

Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center and the DARCARS Automotive Group each donated $30,000 to the program. 

“It’s kind of a no-brainer. You’ve got to look after the children if you want to look after the future,” said Abbe Levin, a manager for Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. 

“If they don’t have food to eat or they’re going to be shamed because they’re going to eat a different meal because they haven’t got the money… here we are talking about removing divisions and something as simple as that could create them.”

Created in 2018, Dine with Dignity is run by the MCPS Educational Foundation and pays for hot meals for students who don’t have money in their lunch accounts. 

“Everybody should strive for excellence and everybody should achieve excellence– everybody can achieve excellence. But you can’t do it if you’re hungry,” said Jamie Darvish, chief operating officer of the DARCARS Automotive Group. 

“And that’s one real big challenge on top of multiple other challenges that children deal with in life today.” 

Executive Director of the Educational Foundation Yolanda Pruitt said the program has received almost $90,000 in donations this school year. 

“Food, in my opinion, is a first equity,” she said. 

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About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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