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No more peanut-butter sandwiches.

Dothan schools will now be serving regular meals to all students, even if they don’t have the money to pay when going through the line.

Local DJ Brandon Townsend, also known as DJ LastLaff, approached Dothan Preparatory Academy Principal Darius McKay at the beginning of October when Townsend came across the Facebook post of a friend who was upset to learn that as many as 44 students at the school could not eat regular lunches that day.

“I just felt it was an issue that really shouldn’t be an issue,” Townsend said. “I shared my feelings with (McKay) in regards to finding a long-term solution that would be more permanent than a group of us donating to zero out those balances.”

Townsend met with Child Nutrition Program Director Tonya Grier and other administrators over several weeks.

Together with Chief Financial Officer Mike Manuel, they came up with a solution assisted by crowdfunding software that the board recently licensed.

A “lunch benevolence fund” was posted on the district’s LeanStream site Wednesday to solicit donations, with the goal of receiving at least $2,000 by the end of the school year.

“Now we can start getting the word out that it’s a way for people to start donating money on LeanStream so that students can not be embarrassed and have their lunches covered,” board member Susan Vierkandt said at Thursday’s board meeting.

“We’re still going to move through and try to recapture the charges,” Chief Operations Officer Dennis Coe said. “We’re not going to stop trying to collect the money, so we don’t want students to think that you can just go and not pay. We are going to try to regain those funds. The charges are going to be cleared at the end of the year from the benevolence account.”

Townsend said earlier this week, the system had a negative balance of $1,700 in delinquent accounts.

“I thought something should be done to ease the minds of the community and ease the minds of the school board as well as the administration,” Townsend said. “I know we’re having growing pains. I’m glad that I could spark light on something that could help the community. We’re all in this together.”

Using his platform, Townsend also has spoken with local business leaders to drum up support for the fundraising opportunity.

As of Friday afternoon, the fund has received one donation of $24.

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