NC Mom Wants to Pay off $4,900 School Lunch Debt

Durham Mom Wants to Pay Off Students' Lunch Debt

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – A Durham mom is making it her mission to make sure every student receives a hot meal at lunch.

In less than 24 hours, a GoFundMe page started by Durham mom, Rebekah Miel, has raised more than enough money to pay off the nearly $4,900 balance that Durham students owe on reduced price lunches.

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“It was just something that popped into my head the other day so I reached out to some friends on social media some other moms,” said Rebekah Miel.

Miel says she found out that when a student has a balance on their account they are given a cold meal instead of a hot meal.

“Some kids will just say they’re not hungry and not eat all day in order to not get the cold lunch if their account is overdue and that’s a huge issue in middle school,” Miel said. “Middle schoolers face a lot. They have a lot of things that are changing with them and they have a lot of pressure to learn so they need to be able to have that lunch.”

At Spring Valley Elementary, the PTA is chipping in to help solve the problem too. The PTA set up an account to pay for every child to receive a hot meal even if they have a balance on their account.

“We as a PTA found out that our kids were crying or they felt shamed because of the fact that they could not receive a hot lunch so we created an account for them,” said Molly Moore, President of the Spring Valley Elementary PTA.

According to Durham Public Schools, more than 33,000 students receive free or reduced price school lunches. The amount owed by students for the reduced meals is just under $4,900, but the total school lunch balance for all students in the district is more than $100,000.

“There’s so much going on in the world it seems like the very least we can do is make sure our children get fed,” Miel said.

Miel says her next goal is to pay off the balance of all middle school students which is around $32,000.

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