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Donor gives holiday gift of school lunch debt relief

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POLSON – An anonymous donor gave families the gift of one less bill by paying off the lunch debts of all students at Cherry Valley Elementary School.

Principal Rhonda Crowl said the donation came from a retired couple who volunteer at the school. This isn’t the first time these community members have done this act of kindness. They’ve given the same gift to students in the past. They want to give to children and their families. The donation was nearly $300.

“It was a sweet demonstration of the Christmas spirit,” Crowl said.

Crowl said the donation made a significant difference for some families. “I know for a couple of the families this was a major gift. It’s a major blessing for them.”

Crowl said being well-fed is an integral part of children’s success at school. “We know it increases student achievement. If they have fuel, they think better, learn better, attend better. It’s absolutely critical that we provide that,” she said.

According to the national organization No Kid Hungry, over 13 million students in the U.S. went to school hungry in 2017, and 48 percent of students from low-income families say being hungry harms their academic performance. 

Crowl said families appreciate the donation. “This was a major gift, a major blessing. They were so surprised and grateful,” she said.

Now those families will be able to focus on cultivating joy for their children this winter. “It was such a lovely and giving thing,” Crowl said. “This is a demonstration of how supporting and caring the community is.”


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