Understanding School Lunch Debt in Fairfax County


Recently, the issue of school lunch debt in Fairfax and other counties has garnered increasing attention.  No one likes the thought of students being denied access to food.

FCPS has a strict policy that prohibits the practice of “lunch shaming” or denying food to a student whose school lunch account is in arrears. Instead, the FCPS Food and Nutrition Services office is required by law to communicate directly with parents, not students, to notify them of outstanding balances.

Lunch debt accrues due to a number of factors, including simple oversight, but it is not related to students who currently receive free or reduced meals (FRM), as these accounts do not incur debt. Lunch debt varies greatly within FCPS schools and it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact need at a specific school at a given moment.