While kids were on winter break, a dad in Allen started a campaign to pay off school lunch debts for children. The idea began with a meme on Facebook.
“I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw a meme that said if you want to do something nice, pay off some kid’s overdue lunch accounts at their school,” said Darren Crone. “I thought about that and said well, hey that’s a pretty good idea.”
Crone launched a Go Fund Me page, asking for donations to cover school lunch accounts that are past due in the district.
In two weeks, the page raised more than $4,000.
“I think it’s a beautiful testament to hey, if a lot of people give $20, $10, $25 as a community, look at the impact and difference that we could make,” said fellow Allen ISD parent Christine Kless.
Allen ISD says Crone reached out to the district and it is aware of the fundraiser. The district points out no kids go hungry if their account is empty. The cafeteria will still offer a student something to eat.
Crone says he started the account for the families who may struggle to pay for school lunches, even if they don't qualify for free and reduced lunch.
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“There are free lunches, there are reduced lunches as well,” Crone said. “Maybe someone got laid off, maybe someone makes just above the threshold and the money doesn’t stretch that far. I’m not in the business of asking why, I just want to fix it.”
Crone says he understands some of the overdue accounts may belong to families who simply forgot to pay their bill.
“People have asked me well, how do you know that you’re not going to be paying off someone who just forgot? I really don’t care because I have been the parent who has forgotten,” said Crone. “I’ve had my kid go up and try to pay and oops they have an empty account well. Someone covered for them and I want to pay it forward.”