School Lunch Debts Are Being Eliminated & We Have a Movement of People to Thank

Student paying for school lunch with cash in cafeteria

Parents work hard to provide for their children, and that includes putting clothes on their backs and food on the table. Unfortunately, some moms and dads in this country struggle to make ends meet, which results in 13.1 million children facing food insecurity -- or the inability to access reliable or adequate food. Many families rely on school lunches as nourishment for their children, but sadly it isn't always an option for kids with outstanding accounts. As distressing and heartbreaking as this reality is, there are many Good Samaritans, like Ashley C. Ford, who are stepping up to erase school lunch debts throughout the country in an incredible and amazing way.


Ashley is a New York writer who took to Twitter to challenge her followers to pay off overdue lunch accounts in nearby schools.

And, as the AP reports, the end result was thousands of dollars that went toward student lunch debts.

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There have been many reports of "lunch shaming" policies popping up around the US, in which students with overdrawn or negative accounts have their meals thrown in the trash -- or are given "alternative meals" like cheese sandwiches for nourishment.

While we can all agree it's important to settle debt, no child should have to go hungry because of it -- which is why we're so happy for these amazing individuals who've become school lunch angels and have helped ensure that more children don't have to carry the shame of school lunch debt or not eat because of it.

In addition to Ashley's public call to action, there have been a series of good deeds happening across the US that result in erased lunch debt.

A Minnesota online fund-raising initiative helped raise close to $100,000 to pay off school lunch balances, the AP reveals. WHO Channel 13 TV in Iowa reports an anonymous donor gave $13,250 that paid for every elementary student's negative account in the Johnston Community School District. (Freaking amazing, right?!)

More from CafeMom: See How Badass Moms Proved That 'Rich & Poor' School Lunches Are Far From Equal

And if that doesn't give you all the feels (and then some), numerous GoFundMe school lunch–related fund-raisers are available to help raise money and pay off lunch debts -- proving there are amazing people in this world who are willing to invest in others.

GoFundMe fundraisers to help provide school lunches to kids with overdrawn accounts

More from CafeMom: Mom Who Packed Her Son 2 Lunches Had No Clue Her Little Boy Is a Hero

So amazing!

Given all the negativity and lack of compassion that seems to be going around, selfless efforts like this are nuggets of hope that we can be the change we wish to see in our children. 

Having faced food insecurities growing up, I never want my kids -- or anyone else's children -- to question when or where their next meal will come from, which is a real problem too many families are facing today. The Feeding America network estimates that 20 percent of US kids live in a home that's ineligible for federal assistance, which could prevent them from meeting the necessary guidelines to qualify for free or reduced school lunches -- resulting in children falling between the cracks.

I feel so inspired to get more involved and give, in hopes that more students can focus on their education instead of contemplating what or how they'll eat.

Because even though we still have more work to do, I believe change can be possible, if we make the choice to be a part of it.

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