FPS debt solved: Lions Club

Farragut Lions Club single-handedly erased negative cafeteria balances at Farragut Primary School last week.

Two club members, Ed Mee and current president Tom Haws, presented a $1,000 check to FPS principal Gina Byrd and Knox County Schools Nutrition director Brett Foster Wednesday, Jan. 22.

“We are very grateful for this,” Foster said. “Every little bit helps.”

“We have been talking in our meetings about what we can do to help the community,” Mee said. “Then I saw kids at school one day, and mentioned it to a Lions Club member, Kathy Burrow, who contacted the school to see if we could pay off any negative balances.”

Byrd said with it being mid-school year, the negative balances were right around $1,000.

“So this will wipe that out,” she added with a smile.

“We are so grateful for any and all donations,” Foster said. “The support from the community and the impact of local organizations to not only help us, but to also bring awareness to this issue — is just huge.”

She said district-wide, negative cafeteria balances among the nearly 90 public schools in Knox County is around $171,000.

While the problem is widespread, schools don’t discriminate, and both Foster and Byrd are quick to point out students who have negative cafeteria balances are treated equally.

Anyone wishing to contribute may contact Knox County Schools’ Nutrition department at 865-594-9563.

“Students are fed the same meals and have the same choices the other kids have,” Byrd said.

“The numbers are significantly higher in our high schools,” Foster added. “It really is a problem that people might not be aware of, so if there are any organizations out there that are looking to help our schools, this is one real need.”

Area business owner Scott Applegate, who owns CapitalPlus Construction Services, gave $25,000 to the school system in December, funds also earmarked for negative cafeteria fund balances.

Anyone wishing to join the Farragut Lions Club, which meets every other week at the Cedar Bluff Kroger, may contact Mee at edmee42@yahoo.com