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3rd Grader Reportedly Pays Classmates’ School Lunch Debt Using His Savings

by | June 25, 2019

Many cultures across the world admit that children are the epitome of innocence and humanity. Maybe this very story will revive your faith in this. A little 3rd grader from California used all the allowances that he had collected from Christmas to pay for the school lunches of his friends after he learned about the debt they owed. This news comes in a time when ‘school lunch debt’ and ‘lunch shaming’ in the US is becoming an increasingly debated topic. Keep reading to find out more.

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9-Years Old California Boy Uses His Saved Money To Pay Classmates’ School Lunch Debt

Speaking to USA Today, the mother of 9-year-old Ryan told that normally he would buy new ballet slippers or baseball cards with the money he saves from the allowances. But evidently, little Ryan’s heart seeks more than his own satisfaction.

One morning while eating breakfast Ryan got to hear the news of a girl from Indiana who was ‘lunch shamed.’ She was forced to return hot lunch due to her student account not having enough money. The mother to Ryan, Kylie Kirkpatrick told USA Today that she remembered Ryan asking her “How can a five-year-old owe school money?”

After Kylie reportedly inquired West Park Elementary School in Napa, California about the lunch policy, she learned that although school won’t refuse food, being unable to pay would add to the school lunch debt of the students and the bill would be awarded to their parents at the year’s end. And after she relayed the information to Ryan, along with the discovered fact that his own fellow 3rd graders owed $74.50 to lunch debts, he decided to pay for his friends using his allowances.

“One heck of a noble kid”

The selfless gesture by a little 9-year old boy garnered high-profile attention and praise. Celebrities and politicians took the opportunity to applaud the rather eye-opening gesture of the 3rd grader, USA Today reports.

Stacy Rollo, spokesperson to Napa Valley Unified School District told USA Today, speaking about Ryan’s donation that “It shines a light on a broader issue,” adding “The district is grateful for his compassion and he should be proud of his act of kindness,” as they confirmed the donation.

“How can a five-year-old owe a school money?”

School lunch debt has been an issue highly debated in America. There have been instances, like students who couldn’t pay were being refused meal or served snack instead. Just like the incident that moved Ryan, a school district in Rhode Island limited students’ food to just a sandwich, who were in lunch debt, drawing the widespread criticism on the ground of “lunch shaming,” the Guardian reported.

Credit: @NYCMayor/ Twitter

However, more and more US States are looking into the matter and trying to overcome this widespread issue. Mayor Bill de Blasio stated Ryan as “one heck of a noble kid,” reportedly using the gesture by a 9-year old to bring light to the issue. In the same way, Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted “School lunch debt” should not exist in the wealthiest country in the history of the world.” He has been discussing the issue on social media and within legislation in order to curb the ‘lunch debt’ which has been proposed by Fellow Democratic Party politicians, the BBC reports.

Credit: @BernieSanders/ Twitter

What do you think about Ryan and his heart? What do you feel about the lunch debt? Let me know in the comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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