A California Third-Grader Used His Allowance To Pay Off School Lunch Debt For His Entire Class
Unbeknownst to the selfless 9-year-old, “lunch shaming” was already illegal in California.
June 11, 2019 at 6:52 pm
A California boy was worried about his classmates possibly missing lunch so he took matters into his own hands.
Ryan Kyote watched a news story about a student who was denied a school lunch because of an inability to pay and wondered if the issue occurred at his Napa Valley school.
“I felt bad for all the kids that didn’t have any lunch,” Ryan told The Napa Valley Register. “It’s not fair.”
His mother, Kylie Kirkpatrick, emailed the school district to see how much was owed.
Initially, he wanted to pay off West Park Elementary School’s entire debt but the $700 tab was too high so they asked about the third-grade class. The bill was less than $80.
"It was I think $74.50. So, I took that email and came to Ryan and said, 'What do you want to do,' and he said, 'I guess I can pay for it.' I said, 'are you sure?' And he said, 'yes,'" Kirkpatrick recalled to ABC7.
The 9-year-old saved up his allowance and paid off his class’ debt. School lunches and breakfasts range from $0.30 to $3.25.
Unbeknownst to Kyote, “lunch shaming” was already illegal in California and any leftover debt is absorbed by the school district.
“We never want to send a child away without a lunch regardless of their ability to pay,” said school district spokeswoman Stacy Rollo.
School officials are very impressed with Kyote.
“It’s a wonderful way of thinking about other people. I’m proud to have him as a student,” said West Park principal Amye Scott.
“This was a very considerate and special donation and the district applauds the efforts of the student who has shown compassion to his school and fellow classmates,” Rollo said.
Kyote’s efforts are a reflection of his mother’s teachings.
“I want him to give back,” Kirkpatrick said. “We can make a difference.”