A 5-year-old from San Diego, California, named Katelynn Hardee is making headlines because of her big heart. When she overheard one other classmate’s parents talking about how they were struggling to pay for their child’s school lunches, she decided to help. The little girl set up a cookie and cocoa stand to raise money to pay off the lunch debt, according to Today.
Hardee’s stand was incredibly successful. Before long, she had raised enough money to not only pay off her own classmate’s school lunch debt but also those of 123 students from her district, which has 20,000 children in it.
“I don’t want people to be hungry,” was Hardee’s simple response when asked why she decided to begin this effort.
The school district wouldn’t reveal how much the total bill for all the lunch debts was, though it praised the hardworking 5-year-old for her thoughtfulness.
“It is truly inspiring to see Katelynn’s compassion and generous nature utilized to help those less fortunate,” said Jamie Phillips, the director of child nutrition services for her district.
The topic of school lunches has been coming up a lot in the news lately, and typically, the stories aren’t as positive as this one. There has been a lot of controversy about how some educational institutions have handled situations in which a student owes a lot of money for their school lunch.
For example, as The Inquisitr previously reported, a New Jersey school came under fire from the media earlier this year for banning students with lunch debt from certain school activities. If a student owed money for lunches, they would be forced to miss out on special events like field trips and even the prom.
Many people were enraged by this rule, feeling that it was a way of punishing students whose families might be struggling financially. Additionally, it could also be looked at as a way to shame those that are less fortunate, making them feel embarrassed in front of their fellow classmates.
Several 2020 presidential candidates weighed in on this controversial rule, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called it “cruel and punitive.”
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to do away with school lunch debt altogether, saying that the phrase itself should not exist.
There have been other similar controversial stories involving school lunches. For example, there was an issue that occurred in New Hampshire where a cafeteria employee lost her job for giving a boy without lunch money a meal.