Debts for 3,400 AISD school lunches will be paid

School lunch -_483796

Thousands of Austin Independent School District students and their parents won’t have to worry about paying for school lunches. A local Austin group raised enough money to cover the debts for 3,400 meals.

Austin ISD lets students buy their lunches on credit. In all, the district has about $31,000 in school lunch debt. The Austin Infill Coalition decided to put a dent in it with a goal of raising $1,500 β€” enough to cover all student lunch debt in the 78702 zip code in east Austin. There are seven elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and an alternative learning center in that zip code.

Lex Zwarum, who chairs the Austin Infill Coalition, said they quickly surpassed that goal.

β€œThe response was immediate, tremendous and heartwarming,” Zwarum said. “Within hours of sending the initial email, we crushed our original goal, so we decided to raise the goal to $5,000. But before we could even send out that challenge, we surpassed that amount, as well.” 

More than 50 builders and those affiliated with infill building donated $10,000 total, and hopes to eventually help with the remaining debt as well.

Paying off school lunches became a mini-movement at the beginning of last year, with people across the nation rallying to pay off school lunch debts, including in Central Texas. In February 2017, a couple walked into Rowe Elementary School in Pflugerville, checkbook in hand. They paid off the lunch debts for the entire school.

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