In a bold display of community spirit and solidarity, Feed the Kids Foundation has announced the launch of an ambitious campaign aimed at raising two million dollars to clear the staggering school lunch debt across the state of Utah.
As Congress did not renew a crucial program covering the cost of school meals for all students during the pandemic, the ending came as a substantial blow to Utah families already grappling with economic hardships. Now, community members are rising together to fill the gap, led by the unwavering conviction of feed the Kids Foundation.
By April 2023, students in Utah had accumulated a jaw-dropping $1.7 million in school lunch debt, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. With the escalating cost of living, experts predict this figure could likely exceed $2 million this school year. It’s a heavy burden for young shoulders – although children are never denied a meal due to inability to pay, the debt persists throughout their learning journey and can even block their path to a diploma.
According to the Utah Food Bank, “Childhood hunger as a hidden educational barrier has far-reaching consequences on students’ academic performance and overall well-being. Hunger affects cognitive abilities, concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills. A hungry child may find it challenging to focus in class, leading to a decline in academic achievements and potentially widening the achievement gap between low-income and more affluent students.”
Given these harsh realities, Feed The Kids Foundation has taken a stand, launching a fundraising campaign that not only addresses this immediate crisis but underscores the collective power of our community to bring about meaningful change. It’s a call to action that resonates deeply for anyone who cares about our children’s well-being and future.
“As a community, we have the power to ensure that no child in our state worries about the dreaded ‘lunch debt’,” says Kalab Stokes, Founder of Feed the Kids Foundation. “With compassion, action, and unified resolve, we can eliminate this financial burden for our families and ensure every child has the nutrition they need to succeed in school and in life.”
About Feed The Kids Foundation
Feed the Kids Foundation is a local nonprofit committed to confronting childhood hunger at the roots. Encouraging community participation, the organization believes that together, we can ensure no child goes to school hungry or carries the weight of unpaid meal debts.
Submitted by Kalab Stokes and Randi Kaufman