LAWRENCE, Ind. - An anonymous donor paid off the school lunch debt for ten Lawrence Township students this week. The students' parents were informed about the kind gesture Thursday morning.
One father who was helped by the donation shared his reaction with FOX59.
"It makes me feel good to know that there are people out there like that," said Don, who asked us not use his last name. "My heart just goes out to that person."
Stephanie Tragesser, the director of food and nutrition services, got an email from a Lawrence Township mother asking for ways she could help students. Eventually, the woman decided she wanted to assist families who owed lunch money. Tragesser reached out to cafeteria managers from across the district and compiled a list of families who could use this assistance.
"She wrote back and said she wanted to take care of everything," Tragesser said.
The donation covered the debt of four families. Students ranged in ages from elementary to high school.
Ana Thomas manages the cafeteria at Sunnyside Elementary, where at least one student's debt was paid off. She got the chance to call families and let them know about the surprise assistance.
"Usually, I’m the one who has to make the bad phone calls of telling the parents that they owe lunch money," Thomas said. "The families were just happy to hear their owed balances were paid off and were very eager to start being able to make their own payments onto their accounts as well."
Similar donations have been made nationwide over the last few months. Many of the acts of kindness are being attributed to one tweet that went viral:
Lawrence Township officials say they have never received this kind of anonymous donation geared toward school lunch debt before.