Canceling Unpaid Lunch Debt in Palmer Alaska

I've heard a lot of news stories about unpaid lunch debt in America. I decided to do a little local research on the subject. I spent some time and called two local schools. After assuring them I was only trying to help cancel the debt they let me know they each have unpaid lunch debt — about $700dollars for both schools.

In our district kids are NEVER denied a hot lunch even if they can't pay. I was so relieved to hear that! What does happen though is that the unpaid debt incurred can follow kids up through the years. Which is hard on families already struggling.

If a family is in need they can apply for free or reduced lunch but sometimes that doesn't happen, and the family gets deeper in debt. 

I want to raise the 700 dollars and completely wipe out that debt here in Palmer Alaska. If we raise more than these two schools need we'll go to another elementary school and keep paying until the money runs out. 

Can we raise 700 dollars in a week? What about 1000? I don't think these numbers are impossible. I believe they are POSSIBLE! Who wants to help families in need in Palmer Alaska.  

My goal is very simple. Raise the money to pay the unpaid lunch fees at two local schools. The total due as of LAST week was  700 dollars. These are two local elementary schools that I attended as a child. I have NO connection to them at this point in my life. My children will not benefit from this in any way. The beneficiaries of this fundraiser are families I don't know. My only clear goal has been to take the stress off local families to make sure they don't start the new school year already in debt!

Last week I spoke with admin staff of each school and inquired as to how much debt there was at the school. I also asked if kids were punished. After hearing it was only 700 dollars, and no one was punished, I realized this could quickly as easily be raised using GoFundMe.

I plan to withdraw the funds and deliver them to EACH school. I will place the money in the Principals hand with the exclusive directive that it be used to pay off the school lunch debt. I will wait at the school until I know it has been applied to the debt. And if possible get a receipt for payment. 

Thursday, May 16th

I stopped at the schools today and paid off the school lunch debt. It was an amazing feeling to know we were helping families have a little less stress. One school had a little more debt for some reduced fee lunches so we paid that off as well. 
Edited Friday, May 17th

We're keeping this going UNTIL May 23rd end of day. I spoke with one of the schools today and they discovered that there is more debt. Apparently, when kids go to free lunches the debt isn't reported on the same sheet. So WHATEVER else we raise we will put towards knocking that down as well. 

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Laura Sampson 
Palmer, AK

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