Anonymous donor pays off student lunch debt at Germantown Middle School

Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 8:02 PM CST
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MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - Alma Shaffer, a cafeteria manager, serves hot lunches at Germantown Middle School that cost about $3.75.

But sometimes some kids are short on cash, which leads to unpaid debt; “Sometimes the students charge more than the parents have adjusted to with their budget. Sometimes don’t get to notify their parents about it," said Principal Chris Perritt.

However, on Wednesday, someone decided to bring Christmas early to these students.

“One of our long time parents who’s had a couple kids come through our schools came by, asked if he can pay of all the cafeteria debt that we had,” said Perritt.

“That was the best Christmas gift ever," said Shaffer, “because a lot of children’s parents forget to put the money into the account or they have trouble with the PinPass pay system. So that was a tremendous gift so everybody can come back to school with a clean slate. No one owes anything.”

The debt was about 300 dollars and occasionally, a staff member will help a student pay. Regardless of the money, Shaffer wants her students to eat.

“The child cannot focus if they are hungry and basically, to some children, this is their only source of a good meal because they eat out. Don’t be scared to come to the cafeteria just because I don’t have money to eat. Because we’re going to feed you regardless," said Shaffer.

School lunch debt is a common issue across the country and the average amount continues to increase.

The School Nutrition Association says debt level can range from $10 to $500,000.

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