Everyday Heroes

Man Pays Overdue School Lunch Fees To Ensure No Kid Goes To Class Hungry

This man wanted to make sure the schoolchildren in his town were able to eat lunch.

It is hard to believe that some children do not get enough to eat each day in our great nation. Sadly, this is true. In fact, 3 out of 4 public school teachers report that they see students come into school hungry.

For many students, school lunch is the only meal they can count on each day. But, in some places, school lunches comes at a cost. When parents cannot afford to meet the school lunch payments, kids might get turned away at from the lunch line, which is heartbreaking.

Well, thankfully, we live in a world with people like Jerry Fenton. Fenton is a business owner in Burlington, Iowa. When Fenton heard that students at the local elementary school, Grimes Elementary, had hundreds of dollars in overdue lunch fees, he decided to cover the costs for them.

A former student of Grimes Elementary himself, Fenton is now the owner of the local Arrowhead Motel. He wanted to do what he could to ensure that the children of Burlington were going to class well-fed and able to focus.

Fenton shared his story on Facebook:

As Fenton told WQAD8, he has a hard time accepting the reality of childhood hunger in America. The statistics certainly are grim: 13.1 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2015, according to Feeding America. How can a nation of such abundance and prosperity struggle to feed their most vulnerable? The injustice drove Fenton to come forward and make a huge difference in these kids’ lives.

All told, he donated around $700 to Grimes Elementary. This cost will not only cover the existing balance of many students, but it will also provide enough money for future meals as well.

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What a heart-warming story.

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So often we can feel dwarfed by the problems that face our country, but as Fenton proves, every day we have the opportunity to make meaningful, lasting change within our very communities.

As Margaret Mead once penned,”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”