Flushing businesses chip in to cover school lunch debt

FLUSHING — A group of Flushing area businesses and organizations joined forces this summer to cover student lunch account balances at Flushing Community Schools.

LeeAlan Weddel, owner of the Farmers Insurance LeeAlan Weddel Agency, presented a check for $5,005.75 to Flushing Community Schools on behalf of numerous Flushing businesses that collectively provided a monetary donation equal to the amount of the school district’s lunch debt for the 2019- 2020 school year.

Weddel, who helped to organize the donation drive throughout the city, said that many Flushing business owners pitched in to help with $100 to $500 contributions— despite facing tough economic conditions themselves.

“We all know that the uncertainty that hangs over our heads as business owners is hanging over our school officials as well,” Weddel said. “So, when we were presented with the chance to lighten the burden on the affected families and the district, we didn’t hesitate.”

Although FCS pays off lunch account balances by allocating money from its general fund, this affects funding that the district has for other programs and learning tools/technology upgrades. FCS Superintendent Matt Shanafelt said that the donation will make a great impact on the district and its funding as it enters a new school year.

“We are so grateful to be part of a community that consistently supports our students and school system in so many ways,” he said. “The generosity of the many businesses that contributed to the cause, despite the tough times that so many of them are going through, is overwhelming and so impactful. We take great pride in making sure that all of our students have a great breakfast and lunch, no matter the financial hardship, and for our local businesses to come together and step up and pay that tab is absolutely incredible.”

Businesses and groups that contributed to the school lunch debt fund included: Avi Om Studio; Church & Sons Auto Repair; Dr. Jeffrey T. Straley DDS; ELGA Credit Union; Farmers Insurance LeeAlan Weddel Agency; Flushing Community Church of the Nazarene; Flushing Sports Magazine; Just Julie’s; Lacquered Ln.; Marcella’s Market Fresh Bakery; Primary Prevention Physiotherapy; Roaring 20’s Ice Cream Parlour; Rustic Seasons on Main; Success & Speaking Company; Cary Ann’s Hallmark Shop; Downtown Designz; Edward Jones Investments; Elite Lawn & Landscape Management; Flushing Area Optimist Club; Flushing Karate; Judy’s School of Dance; Kathy’s 126 Restaurant & Lounge; Lucy Ham Group; Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio; Pro-Tech Auto; Rossell Funeral Home; SERVPRO of NW Genesee County; and Sullivan’s Irish Alley.