Lunch shaming has been happening as long as I can remember.
I know because I had friends from elementary through high school who didn't have enough money to buy lunch because their parents couldn't afford it.
Then again, times have changed since the 90s and even then, there were programs then to help families afford lunch. Now, there are also different lunch programs families can apply for, but it still can be expensive for many.
Two Valley dads are taking initiative and paying it forward from the kindness of their hearts to help raise money through a GoFundMe account for kiddos who can't afford school lunch.
Raul Ramirez and Omar Lopez are trying to raise $10,000 to help students at Alhambra School District's 14 schools who don't have enough money to pay for lunch.
"It's a big community effort. That's what we wanted to do: We wanted to raise awareness so everybody knows about it," said Lopez.
Omar attended Andalucia Middle School in the Alhambra School District and had many friends who would skip meals because they couldn't afford to pay.
"It was kind of upsetting that they would just skip meals and try to make it seem like it was a cool thing to do just so they wouldn't get outed more than they already were," said Omar.
His friend Raul Ramirez did not attend school in the Alhambra District but felt inspired after seeing many stories about lunch shaming.
"There’s more of a need there versus going to school in the east Valley here in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley," said Raul.
The Alhambra School District has no part in the GoFundMe account.
The district is just the recipient, but officials said they are truly grateful for the extra help and will gladly accept any donations towards the district.
According in an email sent by Linda Jeffries, the district's director of communications and marketing, in 2016, about 92 percent of the students in the Alhambra School District receive free or reduced-price food services.
In 2016, the district had a balance of $35,000 of unpaid lunch fees.
It costs $2.20 for lunch at the district. While it doesn't seem like much, it can add up over the course of the school year.
The district said that no matter what, the students always get fed. It maybe be an alternative lunch, but they are always provided with food.
There are still no sure plans whether the entire money will go to school lunches, per the district.
Raul and Omar are just hoping the community will come together and donors will donate from their hearts.
And if all goes well with this GoFundMe Account ...
"Next year we will do it to a different district so we will be asking donors to nominate a district. We've had a couple sent in already to see who they want to see nominated," said Omar.
To donate, or find out more information, click here.
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