Seattle Dad Raises $40,000 To Stop Public Schools From Lunch Shaming Poor Kids

June 1, 2017

A Seattle man who was disturbed by "school lunch shaming" has raised more than $43,000 in a crowdfunding campaign aimed at erasing lunch debt in his kid's school district.

Meet Jeffrey Lew.

good news seattle dad pays off school lunch debt
Jeffrey Lew / via Twitter

Lew was inspired to act after he read a news article about local schools "where students who don't have enough money to pay for lunch are denied food, singled-out with stamps or wrist bands, or are given an alternate meal."

Lew launched a GoFundMe campaign that has so far raised more than $43,000 to pay off existing lunch debts so that students don't have to feel humiliated if they can't afford to pay for lunch.

Seattle dad pays off school lunch debt
screenshot via GoFundMe

At Lew's son's school, the lunch debt was $97.10, he said. For the entire Seattle Public Schools district, the total lunch debt was $20,000.

"As a parent and graduate of the Seattle Public Schools, I am trying to help ease the burden of these families and make sure these children get to eat a nutritious meal each day at school," Lew wrote on his fundraising website. "I used to look forward to school lunches each day. I am sure these children feel the same!"

Among notable donors to the campaign were the Safeway Foundation and singer-songwriter John Legend.

Lew added that if the campaign continues experiencing the support it has received, he would consider expanding it to cover the debt in other Washington State school districts.

"It would be amazing if we could get the whole state of Washington paid off," Lew said.

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