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Texas parent pays $465 to local school so the poor kids can have hot food

Forty cents a day is all that separates a kid from having a hot lunch instead a punitive plate of embarrassment at many schools in America.

Texas Man Pays Off Students' School Lunch Debts So They Can Keep Eating | ThinkProgress

After he heard about the children in Utah whose school lunches were thrown out because their parents were behind on payments, Kenny Thompson was worried about the elementary school kids he tutored and mentored in Houston, Texas. So he went in to check whether they were getting the proper nutrition.

“I’m like, ‘Wow. I know that’s probably a situation at my school, and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at.’ So I came in and inquired about it,” Thompson told local station KSDK.

What he found disappointed him: Dozens of students were on “reduced” lunches, receiving cold peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches instead of the full hot meals they used to receive, all because their parents had fallen behind on lunch payments that amounted to mere 40 cents a day.

So Thompson took action. He forked over $465 of his own money and zeroed out the balances on over 60 students’ accounts.

“These are elementary school kids. They don’t need to be worried about finances. They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling,” Thompson told station KPRC.

At just 40 cents a day, it may be surprising that so many kids across the country don’t have stable access to a full school lunch. But one in five American children lacks steady access to food, and three quarters of teachers report having students who regularly show up to school hungry. That hunger translates to emotional and psychological problems, as well as poor school performance.