Graduating class donates thousands of dollars to pay off other students' lunch accounts

The high school class had raised a bunch of money through fundraisers.

The graduating class at a small high school in southeastern Minnesota used their leftover money to make a big different.

According to KTTC, the seniors at Lewiston-Altura High School had raised a bunch of money through various fundraisers and didn't use it all.

So at the end of the year, the seniors had $3,570, a Facebook post said.

Instead of using that money to do something for themselves, they decided to pay off lunch accounts that were below zero. 

"Our school is big on having jobs and people have jobs to help pay for lunches," recent graduate Skylar Kamrowski told KTTC. "We figure if maybe we can help them pay for that, they can spend more time on education and less time outside of school having to work."

It helped 210 families.

The station notes the school doesn't deny lunches to students. It just reminds kids to bring lunch money each day their account is below zero.

Lunch debts in Minnesota

Not having money to pay for school lunches is a real problem for a lot of Minnesota families. 

That's why some districts – like Minneapolis and St. Paul – have special programs that allow people to donate to help pay off students' lunches.

According to the state Department of Health, about 323,500 students in Minnesota public schools were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches during the 2015-2016 school year. That's four out of 10 kids.

The Minnesota Department of Education says schools send out information on how to enroll in meal programs at the beginning of the school year. It explains how you qualify and how to apply. Learn more about that here.

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