Student lunch debt wiped out at Decatur schools after community, company donations

DECATUR — A metro Atlanta school district’s student lunch debt has been wiped out thanks to donations raised by the community and a corporate foundation grant.

Channel 2 Action News told you Tuesday about City Schools of Decatur’s plan to offer cheese sandwiches and milk to any student with unpaid lunch balances to bring down nearly $90,000 debt balance districtwide.

“No child deserves that,” mother Jasmine Crowe-Houston told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington.

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The Decatur community got to work and rallied behind the students. A GoFundMe created by Crowe-Houston raised $85,000. Perimeter Roofing Company made an offer to donate $60,000.

But on Thursday, City Schools of Decatur confirmed with Channel 2 Action News that a donation from the Arby’s Foundation was enough to eliminate the district’s lunch debt.

“City Schools of Decatur is grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the greater Atlanta community. Our doors remain open for ongoing collaboration. However, we are delighted to confirm the $88k lunch debt has been eliminated thanks to the generosity of a corporate foundation grant. All past balances have been forgiven,” the district wrote in a statement.

“CSD has less than a 10 percent poverty rate, and eligible families continue to receive regular meals through the National Lunch Program. We have also finalized agreements with organizations to provide additional assistance to individual families experiencing financial hardships. As a public school district, we often have to make difficult decisions. However, we remain committed to providing healthy meal options for all students while working diligently to proactively prevent future debt reoccurrences,” the district continued.


Even after the fact, the owners of Perimeter Roofing Company, Todd Price and Raymond Little spoke with City Schools of Decatur on Thursday and donated the $60,000 to the Decatur Educational Foundation.

It’s just our way of giving back,” Little told Channel 2 Action News.

“There’s been a lot of stories I’ve heard from lunch ladies and principals,” Todd Price said. “Stories about kids taking leftover lunch to their little brother or sister because they didn’t have food, so stuff like that is heartbreaking.”


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