At Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston, there were 60 kids with a negative balance in their lunch money accounts. This meant that these kids were eating cold cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly instead of a full hot lunch or skipping lunch all together to avoid embarrassment. Kenny Thompson, a father and tutor at the school stepped in to help the kids.
Thompson knew that these were kids who truly needed help. Most of the kids with delinquent balances were already on a reduced lunch, meaning that their parents couldnʼt afford these meals at just 40 cents a day, and one local man couldnʼt let that happen.
Kids need nutrition to perform well in school and shouldnʼt have to worry about finances. Thompson agreed.
“It was horrifying, it broke my heart,” he said. “These are elementary kids. Theyʼre not bankers, and not responsible for the financial issues in the household.” He took $465 out of his personal bank account and paid off all 60 account balances to know that these kids are getting at least one hot meal a day.
“When I left the building knowing that they were getting fed, they didnʼt have that stress,” said Thompson, “it was the best money I ever spent. It was the best gift I ever gave myself. I went into my car and screamed.”
In fact, it felt so good that itʼs catching on. Others have inquired at their local elementary schools about paying off balances, and Thompson has already picked the next school heʼd like to help. Does this inspire you to help kids in your community?