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Waynesboro Schools meals debt is forgiven with generous donation

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Waynesboro Public SchoolsThanks to a Waynesboro couple, the meals debt of Waynesboro Schools students is completely paid off.

In October, the school system received a donation of $20,000 designated for the meals debt of its students.

“It was wonderful,” said Tammy Coffey, Waynesboro Schools Nutrition Supervisor. “It was a good feeling. I cried when I opened the envelope.”

According to Coffey, the wife saw Coffey in a television commercial talking about the meals debt, which Coffey believed was $17,000 or $18,000.

“So, basically, she wanted to help,” Coffey said.

Later, the school system determined its meals debt was more than anticipated “so we broke even.”

“I’m just very grateful. I was just in shock. Just very generous of them. I just can’t say enough,” Coffey said of the couple’s donation.

Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell said that on behalf of the school system’s students and families “I want to express our sincerest gratitude for the extremely generous act of paying off all school meals debt left on students’ accounts when school closed because of the pandemic.”

“The pandemic has caused great financial hardship for many families and this kind act has relieved some of their stress,” Cassell said. “Certainly, our community is blessed to have such wonderful members and I hope their generous contribution inspires other members of the community to donate and help others who are less fortunate.”

Meal curbside pickup is still available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all Waynesboro students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Kate Collins Middle School, and Westwood Hills and Berkeley Glenn elementary schools.

Waynesboro Schools continues to provide breakfast and lunch for students attending school in person.

“We are nonstop. We are constantly figuring out ways to get meals out to students,” Coffey said.

Meals for the weekends are even sent home with children in the school system’s childcare program.

And the school system began delivering meals to the homes of families who do not have transportation, as well as providing meals to the Waynesboro YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club.

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