- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Houston man outraged at the story of a Utah school that forced dozens of students with delinquent lunch accounts to throw their food in the trash has taken it on himself to make sure the same doesn’t happen in his neck of the woods: He’s coughed up money to pay the negative lunch balances of 60 or so local elementary-school kids.

Kenny Thompson said he couldn’t sit idly after he learned that dozens of Valley Oaks Elementary School kids were being fed cold cheese sandwiches rather than the standard and well-balanced tray fare offered full-paying students, Click2Houston.com reported. So he paid for their full lunches, and brought their accounts into balance, using money from his own pocket.

It cost him $465, the local media outlet reported.

“These are elementary-school kids,” Mr. Thompson said, when asked why he did it. “They don’t need to be worried about finances. They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling.”

Mr. Thompson said he learned of the local students’ plight after hearing of the Utah school that forced those with negative lunch accounts to throw their food trays in the trash — in front of a full cafeteria of other students. He then wondered if any of the students in his community were facing similar financial circumstances.

“I’m like, ‘Wow, I know that’s probably a situation at my school and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at.’ So I came in and inquired about it,” he said, Click2Houston.com reported.

Mr. Thompson said he was also motivated by the fact that he personally knows many students with negative lunch account balances — and that he’s aware they skip lunch altogether to avoid the embarrassment of facing the cashier.

He called the $465 “the best money I ever spent. When I left the building knowing that they were getting fed, they didn’t have that stress,” the local outlet reported.

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