HUTTO, Texas — After seeing a story in October that a girl had her breakfast replaced with toast at Brookhollow Elementary School because she had an outstanding meal debt, Miranda Bennett and her mom, Tammy, went to work raising money to pay off meal debts across the area.
Soon after starting the Facebook fundraiser, two school districts changed their policies to make sure students would get meals regardless of debts. Bennett said that's the point of the fundraiser, not just to get people to donate.
“The paying off lunch debt is a hamster wheel," Bennett said. "This is a Band-Aid, not a solution. “Hutto [ISD], after we paid them off, another four days later they owed another $500 and something dollars. So, the reason I said the awareness is the most important thing is because we actually had two school districts change their policies to stop the problem.”
Bennett plans to close down the fundraiser going into 2020, but she will start another one in the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Despite her ending the fundraiser, she hopes people will continue to donate and push for district-wide meal debt changes.
“Of course the holidays make it special, but we also have to remember that the holidays are also kind of when people remember to give, so although that’s beautiful, we have to remember the rest of the year these kids really need the help too," Miranda said.
The Bennett family have given donations to the following districts: Hutto, Manor, Del Valle, Dripping Springs, Comfort, Hays, Round Rock and Taylor. A total of $12,187 was given to 47 schools in those districts, according to Tammy.
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