Incidents of lunch debt shaming prompt legislation
Richard Sherman donates over $27,000 to clear student lunch debt
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman made several generous donations recently, and both will help schools feed their students and make sure students can eat while they’re at school. Sherman recently donated over $27,000 to clear student lunch debt in two cities that are close to his heart. According to ABC News, Sherman handed a personal check for $7,491. 27 to principal Stan Garber last week, which will eliminate all student lunch debt at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, Calif. Cabrillo Middle School is the school closest to the 49ers’ stadium, and Garber was so grateful for Sherman’s generous contribution. Sherman didn’t stop with Cabrillo Middle School.
He also gave $20,000 to the Tacoma, Wash., public school system to eliminate student lunch debt at schools in that area. Sherman spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, which is about 30 miles from Seattle. Student lunch debt is a major problem nationwide, as is childhood hunger. Schools will allow students to carry lunch debt to make sure they’re able to eat instead of going hungry, but parents aren’t always able to pay it back. Some school districts have taken to punishing students with lunch debt, cutting off their ability to do activities with their classmates, simply because their parents can’t afford to pay.
An estimated 75 percent of all school districts in the country ended the last school year with lunch debt, and it’s a growing problem. Sherman is doing his part to help students, and he spread love and the generous spirit of Thanksgiving in the process.
Spokane native Todd Carmichael on offer to pay for lunch debt
Todd Carmichael, a Spokane native and the CEO of Philadelphia-based coffee company La Colombe, offered to pay off the school lunch debts of students in a Pennsylvania school district. Carmichael, who grew up in the Spokane area and graduated from Ferris High School, said he received lunch assistance as a kid. That impacted his decision to offer to pay the Pennsylvania student debts. Their father died when he was young, and his mother worked where she could without a high school diploma, he said. He said he lived just about everywhere in the area, including Mead and Spokane Valley.
During his time there, he said he worked hard and pursued his business interests. The decision to help out the families struggling with lunch debt comes down to helping pass some good luck on to those who have fallen on hard times, he said. Those feelings quickly subsided as Carmichael said he quickly switched into problem-solving mode to fix the issue. Carmichael also said he couldn’t imagine what happened at the Wyoming West Valley SD happening to him while he grew up in Spokane. Carmichael said nearly 65 percent of families in West Valley SD live below the poverty line, and that most students are the children of coal miners.
Carmichael said he thinks those in charge at West Valley have lost sight of what its like for the families growing up in the area. While the district reversed its decision and will accept the donation to pay off the debts, Carmichael said he isn’t ready to call it a victory quite yet.
SCHOOL LUNCH DEBT: 9 Investigates: School lunch debt and its impact on students
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Students’ lunch debt in county schools is growing, becoming a serious concern that affects families and schools. Chaney said she was neglected as a child, that she didn’t get lunch money, but didn’t qualify for free lunch. Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board member Margaret Marshall told Channel 9 it’s a serious concern and the increase has been a puzzlement. Union County Public Schools saw a big jump from $154,502 two school years ago to $245,418 last year. A representative told Channel 9 they’ve seen a significant drop in applications for free and reduced lunch.
Cabarrus County Schools owed about $11,000 in lunch debt last school year and the year prior. In Fort Mill Schools, the debt was $10,289 last school year. High school students aren’t allowed to carry a negative balance, so they just don’t get lunch if they can’t pay. For Cabarrus County families, here is a link to their policy on school lunch. A representative for Cabarrus County Schools said the district has been fortunate to have individuals and organizations make donations to cover the account balances of students.
Union County Schools says anyone who wants to donate to lunch debt in Union County can visit this link. A group of Fort Mill High School alumni called the ‘Ol School Crowd’ have made it their mission to help pay off student lunch debt.
Richard Sherman Pays Off $27K in Student Lunch Debt
Richard Sherman gave back to his community ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The San Francisco 49ers cornerback, 31, helped eliminate the outstanding cafeteria debt at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, California. Following news of Sherman’s donation, the National Football League Players Association named him as the Week 11 Community MVP. In addition to the over $7,000 to the Santa Clara school, earlier this month, Sherman wrote a check for over $20,000 to the Tacoma Public Schools in Tacoma, Washington to eliminate their student’s lunch debt, according to NBC Sports. This isn’t the only act of kindness Sherman has generously performed this season.
The NFL star, who formerly played with the Seattle Seahawks, donated food to the Sumner High School food drive in Washington. Earlier this month, Sherman also donated $5,000, via GoFundMe page, to help a Pop Warner team in his hometown of Compton, California travel to the National Youth Championship in Florida next month.