Lunchroom debt is becoming a serious and chronic issue in public schools around the country. Parents with limited income feel squeezed by the guilt that comes from reminder letters that they are one or two or three or more months behind on paying for their child’s hot lunch. Some schools have actually cut children off from their lunches until their parents can make payment arrangements. It can be cold and cruel, and hungry, in the lunchroom for kids this time of year.
When a kindergarten girl in California heard about the hungry plight of some of her classmates at Breeze Hill Elementary, she decided to do something about it. Katelynn Hardee told her mother she wanted to sell cookies and hot cocoa to help pay off some of her classmates lunchroom debts.
So for three hours one day this week she went out onto the streets around her school in Vista to sell homemade cookies and packet of hot cocoa. And raised eighty dollars, which she immediately took to the lunch lady at her school, asking her to please apply this to some of the debts of the boys and girls she ate her lunch with.
The next day when some of the parents of the children helped told this story to the media, they couldn’t keep from breaking down and crying a little bit. Wouldn’t you, too?