Pay Down Durham School Lunch Debt

$74,382 of $103,000 goal

Raised by 1,048 people in 15 months
Created November 14, 2017

Durham Public Schools currently has a negative balance of roughly $4,500 for their reduced lunch program, which is only a portion of the $103,000 total debt.

Food insecurity for children is a significant problem in Durham and in some cases a school lunch may be the only meal a student gets. Let's help pay down this debt before the holidays and ease the burden for children and families. 

When you donate, 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Durham Public Schools School Nutrition Services:

Because of the community's overwhelming support and generosity we were able to fulfill our initial goal in less than 12 hours and build towards our 2nd goal: pay off the $32,000 owed by all middle school student.

With this momentum, we may be able to even reach our 3rd goal: raise $103,000 to pay off ALL of the Durham Public School District lunch debt.

Raising enough money to pay off these debts is not the only goal of this campaign. The intention is to also increase awareness in the community, both about school lunch debt and school lunch shaming. The hope is to also form a coalition in 2018 to start a conversation about what it would mean to have free lunch for all students in the Durham Public School system.

** Sign up for the mailing list to find out more about what happens next:

Thanks for your support!

Thanks to our generous business sponsors!

Brown Bag:
Artauro Productions Salerno
Atomic Empire Games, Comics & Hobbies
Bountiful Backyards
Bull City Burger and Brewery
Bull City Escape
Cocoa Cinnamon
Criminal Podcast
Culture Hair Studio
Detail & Design Studio
Embrace Therapeutic Ed. Program***
Five Horizons Construction
The House That Running Built
INDY  Week
A Jordan High School Teacher
L'amour Foto
Letters Bookshop
Little Elephant Photography 
Lisa Ellis Company
Lissa Gotwals Photography
Main Street Clinical Associates
Maverick’s Smokehouse & Taproom
Morgan Henderson Photography***
Pie Pushers
Pompieri Pizza
Purpose UX
Shelby Dillon Studio
Short Winter Soups
Urban Durham Realty


Salad Bar: 
FHI 360
Firsthand Foods
Ko Kyu
Leaf & Limb
Legal Direction
Three Oaks Engineering

Hot Lunch: 
Durham Co-op Market
Joe Van Gogh Coffee

Parker and Otis
Miel Design Studio
Sylvan Esso
Tutti Frutti of Durham

GoFundMe wants me to add info about myself + asked that I answer these questions: 

Who you are: a Durham mom who runs a small business that's commited to social justice. I have 5 yr old twins. 

Where you're from: I've lived in Durham for 17 years and am a proud Durhamite. 

Your relationship to the parties you're raising funds for: I'm raising money for families in my community. 

How the funds will be used (be specific as possible):
All of the money after fees will be sent directly to James Keaten, the Director of Nutrition at DPS and will be used to pay down school lunch debt. A portion of the fees (the percentage that GoFundMe takes out) will be covered by my business, Miel Design Studio (dba QuickBrownFox Design). 

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Quick update:

There are a few new exciting ways to pay down lunch debt before June 1st:

1. anna carson dewitt is hosting tiny sessions this week - the sessions are only $75 and ALL proceeds go towards the fund. sign up for a time slot here:

2. there's a dance party to celebrate the May 16th organizing efforts at the vault @ Palace International

3. cr2f is selling a second round shirts and other merch There are coffee mugs!! #redofed

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I wanted to send out a quick note about our end of year goal:

ALL of the Durham School Lunch debt needs to be paid down by JUNE 1st or it comes out of the overall school budget. Through the course of this campaign, we've learned all sorts of ways that Nutrition Services could better put this money to use.

Could you help us reach our goal by JUNE 1st? Even $15 or $20 goes a long way.

If you donate AFTER JUNE 1st, the money will be held in an account to pay off the REDUCED and FREE lunch debt next year. We have more exciting news about our program for next year so stay tuned!
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Today is the last day that I'm actively running this campaign and just wanted to say THANK YOU one more time to everyone who donated, shared and supported this campaign.

When I started this, I thought it would take a month or two to raise a $4,000 to pay off the reduced lunch debt, but as of today we're at $62,000. I've said it before, but that's INCREDIBLE. I'm so grateful for everyone who showed up from Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, San Francisco, Brooklyn and even internationally. I see you all.

Because of YOUR response, this campaign has garnered statewide recognition including a segment on NPR and praise from NC Senator Floyd McKissick. It's also started a conversation about what it would mean to have free lunch and how we can reform the current system to stop the debt from accruing year after year.

If you'd like to be part of that conversation, you're welcome to join the kick-off meeting to reform school lunch debt:

Or if you'd just like to be updated on what happens next, you can sign up for our newsletter here:

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Give the gift of school lunch! Thanks to a generous donation from the Durham Co-op Market: the next 50 donations of $25 or MORE will receive a $10 gift card to the Durham Co-op Market. 

This would make a wonderful holiday gift for teachers, parents or anyone really!*** Here's how to make it happen: 

1. Donate $25 or more to the Pay Down Durham Lunch Debt Campaign
2. Make the donation ANONYMOUS
3. Comment with the name of the indiviudal you're honoring with the donation (only admins will see the comment)
4. Pick up the gift card + a handwritten card with the gift recipient's name at the Durham Farmer's Market on Saturday, 12/23 from 10am - Noon
Feel free to email me directly with any questions at 

*** available to the first 50 donations of $25 or more made between 12/18/2017 - 12/22/1017. GC can only be picked up in-person from 10am-Noon on 12/23 at the Durham Farmer's Market. If they are not picked up then, they will be mailed after the end of the campaign to the original donor. GoFundMe, DPS, and Rebekah Miel are not liable for any lost or missing gift cards.  

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$74,382 of $103,000 goal

Raised by 1,048 people in 15 months
Created November 14, 2017
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