Anonymous donor pays almost $8K to clear California school district’s student lunch debt

An anonymous donor paid $7,813.50 to the Ocean View School District to clear all outstanding school lunch balances for children in the district.

An Ocean View community member for more than 20 years, the donor told district administrators that he wanted to help kids in his community thrive during what are considered the most formative years of their life, noting that he understands how critical this time is for children to develop a love of learning and to be set up for success.

In reflecting on his own childhood, the donor said that he was fortunate enough to not have to worry about money, and he hopes that his donation will make it so that there’s one less thing getting in the way of learning for children who are not so fortunate. He said that the profound gratitude he feels for his own education made him want to pay it forward.

“While OVSD works diligently with families to reconcile negative balances and children are always provided a meal regardless of their balance, this generous donation will impact more than 200 families that were struggling with negative lunch balances,” the school district said in a release.

The anonymous man said that he was also inspired by an article he read about a man from Florida who paid off all the school lunch debt in his local district to help children in his community.

When asked what he hoped others would take away from his random act of kindness, he said that, amidst a social climate of “us versus them” mentality, he hopes to serve as a reminder that there are plenty of people who do care and that “we’re all in this together.”

“I want to encourage people to look around the community and ask ‘What can I do to make it better?’” he said.

Dr. Carol Hansen, OVSD superintendent, said, “We are so grateful for this unexpected gift and the spirit in which the donation was made is truly inspiring.”