Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas has shown an act of kindness towards its community by paying off more than $20,000 worth of student lunch debt.
The church has agreed to pay $24,000 to Austin Independent School District (AISD) for the lunch debt owed, as well as serve the remaining part of the 2022/2023 school session.
Whitney Bell, the church’s mission director, expressed her hope that the church’s act of kindness would help fill a gap that other organizations had not been able to. “Our hope is we fill a gap that other folks haven’t been able to fill, that kids have one less thing to be concerned about,” she wrote on the church’s blog.
“We hope Covenant shows our school district that we love and care for all students, especially the kids stuck in the middle who can’t afford lunch but may not qualify for free or reduced lunch,” she added. “The district basically has a Go-Fund-Me page because they want to be able to continue to feed these kids,” Bell further explained.
By paying off the lunch debt, the church aims to alleviate some of the financial burden on families who are struggling to make ends meet. The church’s mission is to spread God’s compassion and love to its community.
The issue of student lunch debt has been a contentious one across the country. Students who are unable to pay for their meals are often left with a debt that their families struggle to pay off. This can lead to students being denied meals or receiving a less nutritious meal, which can affect their academic performance and health.
However, Covenant Presbyterian Church has taken a stand against this issue by committing to pay off the lunch debt for students in AISD. This act of generosity will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the lives of the students and families in need. The church has shown that it is committed to helping the community and making a positive difference in the lives of those who need it most.
“A family of four bringing in a total of $50,000 a year doesn’t qualify for lunch at a reduced cost,” Bell said. “This is a huge gap … especially considering the cost of living in Austin. The majority of kids accruing debt are from poor working families.”
The AISD had revealed that they serve more than 60,000 meals daily.
“The idea that a child could be prevented from fully participating in their school because of debt they accrue when eating lunch ought to disturb us,” Senior Pastor Thomas Daniel said. “I am proud we are stepping up to fill this gap.”
“The fact that this is a gift given to every student who qualifies – no strings attached – embodies the free and unmerited grace we have all received and is the foundation of our Christian faith,” he added.
Covenant Presbyterian Church’s act of kindness will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the lives of the students and families in need and will help ensure that they have one less thing to worry about as they work towards their educational goals.
The church has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s. The church was originally founded in 1852 by a group of Presbyterians who had migrated to Texas from the Southern United States.