Retirees, parents, teachers and plenty others came together to completely wipe out the school lunch debt that had accumulated at schools in the Franklin Special School District during the final weeks of the 2019-20 school year.
There were even donations from individuals and groups not associated with FSSD to help reduce a debt of nearly $10,000 from a variety of families in the district, including a $1,500 contribution from the Wholesale Fasteners company in Franklin.
“As always, I was so impressed with how much Franklin and Williamson County and FSSD are all a family,” said Robbin Cross, the district’s child nutrition program supervisor. “We had donors that were retired FSSD people, donors that formerly had students in the district, as well as people who aren’t connected to FSSD but live in Franklin and Williamson County and wanted to help take care of our children.
“It reminds me of the saying ‘it takes a village.’ I was very proud to be a resident of Franklin and Williamson County and how we are taking care of each other.”
In years past, FSSD officials would begin around spring break to remind families with school balances that those need to be paid by the end of the year. This year, however, with the hardships many families have been facing as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Cross and others in the system created a campaign that asked both those inside the district community and those outside it to help with whatever donations they could.
In just a matter of a few weeks, donations totaled $10,500, enough to not only wipe the lunch slate clean but also provide a surplus to pay off some debt of students who will be leaving the district for high schools in Williamson County Schools.
A good part of the donations came from retired teachers, administrators and others in FSSD. Ouida Greer, who retired in 2011 after teaching kindergarten at Liberty Elementary School for 25 years, said she felt a calling to help.
“Having been a teacher in that area where we did have pockets of poverty, I knew that there was a need and that there were parents struggling,” she said. “That was one way I could help. It was a small gesture that I could do to make a difference.
“As retired teachers, we just continue to want to help children.”