Dad Raises Nearly $25,000 To Pay Off Seattle School Lunch Debt – Video

Photo Credit: Screen capture CNN Money

Did you know: Nationally, children in 75 percent of school districts rely on their schools to provide lunch at least some of the time.

Seattle resident Jeff Lew remembers how it felt to be on the receiving end of taunts and shaming because his family couldn’t afford to pay for hot lunches. Lew was fortunate that he was able to get a scholarship to a Catholic school. But there was no money for extras – like a hot lunch.

Today in Seattle, kids are given a hot lunch and then their parents are billed for those lunches. But if those bills aren’t paid, then lunch is off the table – literally – for the unfortunate kids who make up 36 percent of the Seattle public school population.

“It broke my heart after reading about how some students are getting their lunch trays full of food tossed in the garbage can in front of their classmates,” Lew told Scary Mommy.

Never mind the wastefulness of throwing away perfectly good food. But to do it as a punishment for the crime of not having the resources to pay for that food – well, the cruelty speaks for itself.

That’s when Lew decided to do something about it. Initially, his goal was to pay off the $97.10 owed at his son’s school. But then he looked into the entire Seattle Public School system and found that the total lunch debt was $20,531.79 and he knew that would take more resources than he personally had. So he started a GoFundMe Campaign with the goal of collecting $21,000. Since starting the effort, Lew has had donations that, at the time of this writing, have exceeded his goal and amassed $24,873.

Heartened by the success of his first campaign, Lew has started two more campaigns with an eye on paying off the lunch debts for the Renton and Tacoma school districts.

Lew’s efforts and spectacular results caught the attention of the Seattle Times and CNN.

One man’s idea and the generosity of people throughout the country has made a difference for countless children. This is the real America.

Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things. Show her some love and check out her books!

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Ann Werner

Ann Werner

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at

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Ann Werner