Masons help bring lunch to studentsThe local Masons were not happy with the idea that if a student doesn’t have enough lunch money in an account, all they could get was a peanut butter sandwich.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
The local Masons were not happy with the idea that if a student doesn’t have enough lunch money in an account, all they could get was a peanut butter sandwich. So they started a fund to help those students. When there isn’t money in an account set up for a student, the charge goes to one assigned to the Masons.
Two Harbors Mason Tom Burns, who helped start the program a few years ago, said some of the money raised through the various Masonic dinners held throughout the year goes to help support the program available only at Minnehaha Elementary.
Burns said the fund-raising dinners are exclusively for Masons, cost between $5 and $10, and the Grand Lodge of Minnesota matches the amount of money raised. There has been talk among local Masons of including the public in the dinners.
“Usually the dinner supplies are donated,” he said.
Students have a personal identification number and parents put money into an account for the student to purchase things such as lunch at the school. If the fund is depleted, then they can get a free peanut butter sandwich.
“It doesn’t seem like the right thing [to do],” Burns said of the peanut butter sandwiches. “If they have an opportunity for a hot lunch, why not [get it].”
The Masons have other dinners during the year for a scholarship fund. The Grand Lodge usually matches those funds as well.
“It’s not rich organization,” Burns said. “Even when the lodge didn’t have the money, we still contributed to the lunch fund.”
Lunches cost $2.25 at Minnehaha.
Sue Mitchell, the business manager for the Lake Superior School District, encourages parents to fill out forms for free and reduced-price lunches if they are eligible under federal guidelines.
She said the forms could also serve as an economic indicator of the student population, which could lead to more funding for other programs in the district.