One dad is being praised for raising over $40,000 for children in Seattle area public schools.
The funds, raised through a GoFundMe campaign, will be used to pay for the lunches of students.
Hello everyone! The support has been truly incredible! Thank you so much… https://t.co/HHeCG5nxXJ
— Jeff Lew (@biglew8) June 1, 2017
Jeff Lew was inspired to start the fundraiser when he found out about a policy called “lunch shaming” in a news article. Under the policy, students who go $15 or more in lunch debt are singled out via stamps and wristbands.
Sometimes, they’re given lower quality food.
“I used to look forward to school lunches each day. I am sure these children feel the same,” he wrote on the campaign’s webpage. “As a parent and graduate of the Seattle Public Schools, I am trying to help ease the burden of these families and make sure these children get to eat a nutritious meal each day at school.”
“No kid should be shamed regardless of if they have money to buy lunch,” he told NBC News.
Initially, his goal was $20,000. That was the total lunch debt in Seattle’s Public Schools.
But after celebrity John Legend made a $5,000 donation, and some positive promotion from the press and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, donations started pouring in.
— Jeff Lew (@biglew8) May 29, 2017
Lew is optimistic. He hopes the entire state’s lunch debt can be paid off.
“It would be amazing if we could get the whole state of Washington paid off,” he said.
That goal could very well be a reality. A similar campaign has begun for public schools in Everett, Washington. The goal amount of $5,700 has already been met with $6,124 – more than enough.
Lew also started two identical campaigns for Tacoma and Renton, Washington.
The state of New Mexico recently passed a law that bans lunch shaming. It requires public schools to give every student the same meal, regardless of their lunch debt.
Will the cause spread throughout the country? That depends on whether people are as hungry for change as Jeff Lew is.