Father pays off delinquent lunch accounts so students can eat

school lunch

HOUSTON (CNN) — Kids in Utah who had their lunches taken away because their accounts were empty inspired one man to make sure it didn’t happen at his son’s school in Texas.

Kenny Thompson, father and tutor at Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston, took $465 of his own money and paid off the account balances of 60 kids.

“They don’t need to be worried about finances,” he said. “They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling.”

For 10 years Thompson has served as a mentor and tutor. After hearing about the students in Utah, Thompson inquired about school lunches at his son’s school. He learned that some children had negative balances on their lunch accounts and were eating cold cheese sandwiches instead of a hot meal like the other students. He also learned that many kids were on a reduced lunch — children whose parents couldn’t afford the meals that cost just 40 cents a day.

That’s when Thompson took $465 dollars of his own money and zeroed out the delinquent accounts of more than 60 students.

Thompson said many kids he knows with negative accounts forgo the lunch line altogether to avoid embarrassment, but physicians have linked classroom performance with proper nutrition.

Thompson believes he made a difference when he made the decision to help those students.

“When I left the building knowing that they were getting fed, they didn’t have that stress … the best money I ever spent.”

35 comments

      • Jack Crapisi

        I have a brain Cal, and i agree with you 100% to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait till Obama is out of office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate that S.O.B. He is the (WORST PRESIDENT WE HAVE EVER HAD IN HISTORY), and i can’t wait till 2016 when he’s out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Cal.

    • Kim Norris

      I think President Obama has had no idea until its started hitting the press about our children/grandchildren not getting to eat. My 6yr old grandchild was refused milk because she had mo money left on her milk card…I was so hurt and upset! I asked about this and they basically said she was confused and thats not what happened….Im sure this is going on everywhere and its these, our kids sufferring!

    • Philip

      Carrie check your facts before you go blaming president Obama for something that had been going on fat longer than his terms of your going to do that make sure you mention president Bush Clinton Bush again and Reagan as well why blame everything on one man don’t forget the Senate and house allowing this to go on as well. I don’t know what your comment had anything to do with a man helping out others in need but I applaud this man for his efforts in making sure other children don’t go hungry.

      • Jack Crapisi

        Hello Philip, you must be one of those stupid Democrats to be taking up for that IDIOT president of ours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So get your facts straight buddy!!!!!!! He is the worst president in American history EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And his “Government” Obama Care Health insurance will never work out anyway, because he doesn’t have his shit together, most likely because of his heritage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So sleep on that one buddy!!! You have a nice weekend now Philip. Ciao.

  • Rebecca Vaughn

    This is so sad!! All the waste of food left at school’s to be through out and school’s don’t want to feed these children ,it all is wrote off as waste why not feed the children for free!!

  • Linda Hoffee

    God bless you, Mr, Thompson! Patrick Mallahan, perhaps when these youngsters were born, the financial situations for their parents was such that they were more than able to provide for their children without a worry. Who knows what may have happened from the day these children were born, till today. Many people have lost their jobs and are just barely getting by. My heart breaks for any child that has been spotlighted in this cruel manner because their parents got behind on lunch payments. Daniel, you are right. Why not let the children eat the lunch instead of tossing it out. Throwing the lunch away is just another ignorant waste by the government.

  • Jenny

    For Valentine’s day each year, our elem. school allows parents to buy a ring pop for their child that’s delivered with a message from the parent. They’re $1.00 each and profits go to the PTU fund for field trips, etc. I always buy one for each of my kids and ask the coordinator to let me know how many kids aren’t going to be getting one. I send in the extra amount so each child gets a treat and a note. It’s usually an extra $20 or so that I forget about by the next day. We’re not a family of means….I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 10 years now…but I find lots of joy in seeing a need and meeting it. Others have seen our needs over the years and been generous towards us. I applaud the dad who saw this need and just went ahead and met it. Acting on our compassion is one of the greatest forms of wealth and health there is!

  • Karen

    Spend some time at your school to see how much gets thrown away. The Govt. programs say the food has to go to the child. Once it goes out of the kitchen, it can not be taken back. It can not go to another child. It can not be give to a farmer to feed livestock. It has to be thrown away. I watched one day and saw many many perfectly good apples tossed in the trash.

  • Denise McNeiley

    You know that is something I have never been able to figure out! Why do we have to pay for school lunches to begin with? Isn’t our tax dollars that finance the public school system? School lunches should be included! We finance sports, music, art, and a variety of other programs. Why shouldn’t providing food be top on the list? For some children it may be the only food they eat. Makes me angry that any school system could be so cold and uncaring that they would make them go without meals, or even feed them different food. Don’t they know the life long effects this kind of treatment could cause???

  • j.p.

    Coming from a person that is currently caring for a large group of children that are not mine due to their parents falling on very hard times I truly appreciate people like this man. I am not rich by any means but I do have a Home for these children and they do not go hungry. it might be a struggle but it is helping form young minds into being caring and giving adults of the future

  • S Wooley

    Mr. Thompson, a generous act indeed. Forget the pocketbook bc you put others needs before your own. Other complete strangers. And you did not do it for notoriety but bc it was the right thing to do. An angel with invisible wings is an asset to his community.

  • Lala

    I get that field trips and some other stuff are important for a child but they should feed the kids first before they do other stuff that cost money. Now with fund raisings the school does for bunch of stuff I think they should do the same for meals as well. Also if the parents of the children that ca afford ito feed their kids would donate 3 or 4 bucks a month for the needy children that fall in to the group of the parents who makes too much for free meal but makes too little to afford the lunches, we could squash this problem ASAP. If a school ask the parents to donate and let them know that it’s for needy and hungry children in their schools and its just to feed them, then I don’t think they would say no, I know I wouldn’t. There are a ways to figure it out but they actually need to try.

    • Kim Norris

      I totally agree Lala!! I wished we had more kindness like his 50 yrs ago …i grew up poor and was made fun
      of and teased…schools have fundraisers for new various uniforms why not do this for children to eat also..IT IS NOT THE CHILDRENS FAULT THEIR PARENTS ARE AT A POVERTY LEVEL!!!!! Maybe the Senators and Congressmen should donate to the county or districts that elected them and donate to the schools….just an opinion!

  • Sabrina

    Thank God for people like him :-) he paid all kids in his School, black and white…. Love of a MAN has no color…. We all bleed RED…. We all cry clear tears….. The problem with most is they can point there finger and say what’s wrong and what the next man not doing but never a word of wisdom . God bless us all!!!!!!

  • Terry Roberts

    I won’t dispute that, but if a person lost their job, there is a form to fill out at the school and with little or no money kids can get free lunch. That is a federal deal. also there are reduced lunch cost of which some were getting. But don’t let pride stop you from applying for this. Somewhere along the way, you paid for it before.

  • Lana Butler

    I think you need to tune into the news and see the jobless rates. The number of people that have lost jobs in the last year; the number that have given up even looking. Parents know one of their primary responsibilities is feeding their children. I’ve know many (and have been one myself) that fed the kids first and went hungry, simply because there wasn’t quite enough. Our economy is dragging more and more people into the depths of despair.

  • Krista

    Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You can make just pennies too much to qualify for those programs, so you make too much to get help, but not enough to feed your family. It’s awful.

  • MaLinda RaNae

    I have to say that in KS the income guidelines for free lunches is astoundingly high. I think pride comes into play sometimes. Which is sad because there is no reason to not fill out those forms. Our school nearly requires each student at enrollment to have these forms filled out. Many times, parents find out they do meet the income guidelines and are ecstatic. Children should not suffer because mom and dad are too proud. Per the attached weblink http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/notices/iegs/IEGs.htm Reduced lunch guidelines are for a family of 4….$43568.00 and free is $30615.00 I am fairly certain many people would fall into these categories.

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