Florida Man Donates Nearly $1,000 to Pay Off Entire Town's School Lunch Debt
A Florida man is being praised for his selfless actions after he donated nearly $1,000 to schools in Jupiter to help pay off the lunch debt.
Andrew Levy recently discovered that more than 400 students attending schools in the Jupiter-area were unable to receive a full meal in their cafeterias due to the outstanding lunch debt, CBS Miami 4 reports.
Despite the fact he has only lived in the South Florida area since 2014, doesn't have any children in the school district and has no personal connection to the schools, Levy said he was startled at those numbers and felt he needed to take action in a community he has quickly fallen in love with.
"Food is something that you shouldn't have to think about. Children shouldn't have to learn hungry," he told the outlet. "These children that were in debt were going to either not eat or they would get just cheese sandwiches and I thought that's crazy."
So Levy, who works as a real estate agent in Palm Beach Gardens but does a majority of his business in Jupiter, stepped in and paid $944.34 to ensure that no child goes hungry during school hours.
"I thought, ‘You know something? If for a modest sum I could make that change, I'm gonna do it,'" he explained to CBS Miami 4. "I went in there and I said, ‘I want to pay off the lunch debt.'"
The Florida resident said the generous donation was nothing more than a kind gesture — but his selfless actions have inspired others to step up and do the same.
After opening up about how he paid off the school lunch debt on Facebook, Levy said his post was flooded with comments from people across Palm Beach County asking how they could also help.
"I even have had some clients over the past 48 hours say, ‘You know something, I want to help, I want to give too,'" Levy recalled to the Miami outlet.
And their help will certainly be needed. Though Levy successfully zeroed out the deficit for 430 students in Jupiter-area schools, Palm Beach County students still carry more than $51,000 in outstanding lunch debts, according to the school district's website.
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A spokesperson for the school district stated that they've received more than $8,600 in donations for school lunch debt so far — including a $5,000 donation from someone earlier this year — but still, have a ways to go as each cafeteria lunch costs $2.05 or $2.30.
In order to help these families and lower the debt, Levy said he plans to organize a fundraiser in the community four times per year.
"Every quarter I'm going to do either a GoFundMe page or a fundraising page that can raise money every quarter so the lunch debt never accumulates," he explained to CBS Miami 4.
Those interested in helping Palm Beach County lower the school lunch debt can do so here.
Donor checks can also be made payable to "School Food Service" and mailed to their office at 3661 Interstate Park Road North, Suite 100, Riviera Beach, FL 33404.