No child should go unfed, especially when they’re attending a full school day. For one reason or another, some parents struggle to afford school lunches.
It’s an issue that affects many hungry schoolchildren throughout the nation.
While this is an ongoing problem, it has become a major concern for one dad in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Deer Valley school district has racked up nearly $50,000 in school lunch debt since the start of the school year.
Rigo Gonzalez told KNXV-TV the outstanding bill was caused by unpaid lunches.
“These things add up,” he said. “I know lunch for one day may not cost much, but it keeps adding up the more and more they go without paying.”
Nearly 29 percent of students in the district make up the free or reduced lunch program.
For the remaining students, their unpaid charges are usually sent to collections.
In response, Gonzalez has created a GoFundMe page to help out families who owe money. To date, it has raised $660 with the goal of $48,000.
“Deer Valley policy states that children will receive lunch regardless of any amount owed, however debt is still accrued to the child’s account that the parent is then responsible for paying back,” Gonzalez explained in the description.
He further added: “Any money donated will go towards this cause in hopes that all lunch debt will be paid off. Families shouldn’t have to worry about feeding their children, and I sincerely hope you will consider donating.”
Helping other families afford school lunches hits close to home for Gonzalez.
At one point, he too struggled to afford his kid’s lunch at Sonoran Foothills Elementary School.
The principal managed to get help from other school parents willing to pay off Gonzalez’s debt.
“I was really overwhelmed by the generosity and I guess this is my way of paying it forward,” he said.
Gonzalez has a long way to reaching his goal, but with a little more help from the general public, he will be able to make this fundraiser a success. So spread the word by sharing this story!
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