What’s sadder than the fact that children can’t afford school lunch in one of the richest countries in the world?
The fact that adults are shaming children at school in front of their peers because of it.
Reports of schools serving “alternative” cold cheap meals to children, taking away a child’s meal, stamping a child’s arm with “I need lunch money, or denying seniors cap and gowns” because they can’t pay the corporations that serve school lunch have broken America’s heart.
And people are refusing to stand by and watch it happen.
Ten-year-old boy Ryan Kyote donated his allowance to paying off school lunch debt for his fellow classmates.
That, in turn, inspired the governor of California to sign legislation that prevents schools from singling out students who can’t pay for lunch.
A Jupiter, Florida man is one of the latest civlians to take on school lunch debt.
It all started when Jupiter real estate agent Andrew Levy read a Facebook post on the “Jupiter Mamas” Facebook group.
Angie Vyas-Knight, the page’s administrator, heard about all the national news stories about school lunch debt and asked the Palm Beach County School board for the district’s statistics on school lunch debt.
She then shared that information on the Facebook page which showed that there was $944.34 worth of debt in nine of the district’s schools.
Levy saw that post and was heartbroken to learn that these 400 children would have to forgo lunch or have their lunch taken away and replaced with a cold lunch once they got to the register.
“These children that were in debt were going to either not eat or they would get just cheese sandwiches and I thought that’s crazy,” Levy told CBS News 12. “I thought you know something? If for a modest sum I could make that change, I’m gonna do it.”
According to the School District of Palm Beach County, elementary school students with debt have their entree replaced with a turkey and cheese sandwhich and are allowed to keep their sides and drink.
But that’s not the case for high school students. They just get a cheese sandwich and milk or juice. So, Levy went to the district and paid off the debt for all 400 students.
“Every quarter, I’m going to do either a GoFundMe page or a fundraising page that can raise money every quarter, so lunch debt never accumulates so that children never have to worry about a hot meal and parents never have to worry about paying the bill,” he said.
Levy’s act of kindness inspired others to want to help as well. Many people have reached out asking how they can help.
“I even have had some clients over the past 48 hours say you know something? I want to help, I want to give too,” Levy said.
The School District of Palm Beach County is now looking for help with eliminating the district total of $51,000 worth of school lunch debt.
The district put up a page where people can make donations to the school lunch programs to help feed needy children in the district.
You just fill out this form and a school district representative will reach out to you with the details. Learn more about this story in the video below.
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