Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward

Ashley D'Amico and Robert Kelly, FCPS Food & Nutrition Services Manager

 The Frederick County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services Office received an unusual inquiry last week. On Monday, December 11, a woman called to ask about donating funds to eliminate student meal charges in the schools.

Food Service Specialist JoAnn Morris says that Ashley D’Amico became interested in contributing the funds because she is in the process of adopting a brother and sister from Vietnam, and she wanted to “pay forward” to the school system that they will attend when the adoption is finalized.

D’Amico contributed $3,469.96 to cover all the outstanding student meals charges as of December 19. Robert Kelly, who manages the FCPS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Office, said he expressed extreme gratitude for this wonderful and kind gesture. He also appreciated D’Amico’s interest in the daily operation of the department and the positive comments she shared when she realized that the school system uses local fruits from Catoctin Orchard. Viewing photographs posted in the FNS Office, D’Amico said the meals were very colorful and appetizing in appearance.

According to Kelly, D’Amico owns a real estate investment company in Pennsylvania.

More than one in four students who attend a public school in Frederick County are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Yet, there are many children whose families miss the income-eligibility cutoff but still struggle to meet basic needs. Last June, a GoFundMe account was started--see help support FCPS students with lunches. According to the site, Jane Buckingham Beatty started the account on behalf of Jessica Sichert. The page has raised $5,595 of its stated $10,000 emergency lunch fund goal for students in need.