Texas Man Pays Overdue School Lunch Bills for More Than 60 Kids

By on

Kenny Thompson of Houston was deeply disturbed when he heard about the Utah elementary school that took lunches away from kids with past-due school lunch payments and tossed them in the trash.

So he decided to find out about how kids whose parents couldn’t afford their lunch bills were being treated at an elementary school in his neighborhood, Valley Oaks Elementary.

He found that kids there with delinquent lunch accounts get a cold sandwich, not a regular tray of hot food that the other kids get. Imagine their embarrassment.

So, Thompson, who mentors at the school, made that distinction go away. Said KSDK TV in Houston:

He took $465 of his own money and zeroed out the delinquent accounts of more than 60 kids.

“These are elementary school kids. They don’t need to be worried about finances. They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling,” said Thompson.

What a wonderful gesture. News of his generosity has spread. Says Today.com:

Students and school administrators at Valley Oaks have openly expressed gratitude for Thompson’s efforts, [Thompson] said. One of his mentees broke down and cried when he heard the news, sharing how he used to avoid the lunch line and claim he wasn’t hungry to avoid any questions. 

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,041 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • disqus_7uLMRvnWRt

    What a wonderful act of charity! The sad thing is, the kids on government assistance are never denied lunch but those whose parents work but get behind occasionally on their child’s lunch payments do without…

  • Maggie

    I don’t get it. Why can’t these kids take a bologna sandwich to school.
    If they can’t afford to eat out, as it were, they can bring their own
    PB&J. Buying a hot lunch at school was a once a week treat when I
    was a kid. What will they expect when they’re grown up and in the
    workforce? Will they know how to make a sandwich?

    • Julia

      I think it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their children are properly fed, clothed, and sheltered. Expecting the kids to take over when their parents don’t take responsibility is unreasonable in my mind. I understand that you want kids to be able to support themselves, but this story is about 5-11 year olds. How much responsibility do they really need to have?

      • Maggie

        I wasn’t putting the responsibility on the kids. Like you, I believe it’s the parents’ responsibility to feed their kids. But part of that responsibility is teaching them how to grow into being able to take care of themselves and not think, “OMG! McDonald’s is closed! What will I eat?” If money’s tight, what better opportunity to teach kids, at an age-appropriate level, how to make do with what they have? If they’re too young to learn how to make a sandwich, they’re not too young to learn that that’s all they’re getting and not to expect anything more than basic sustenance. It’s probably too late, though. The parents of those kids probably never learned the value of a dollar while growing up, and they are just passing on what they know to the next generation.

  • Roger Randall

    What about the sorry ass parents. They’re teaching their kids it’s OK to be irresponsible.

  • cuja1

    One shouldn’t judge or criticize until one has walked in the others shoes.

  • traderjim7

    A wonderful gesture. Once again a kind hearted citizen has to come to the rescue when a dysfunctional, corrupt government does not do its job.

  • ljethrogibbs46

    Wealthy or poor the parents’ FIRST responsibility is to see that their children are fed. Locally I see some adults who go to free dental clinics, etc. Photos in the paper show them w/ cigarettes, tattoes, body piercings. So…if they can afford that crap, they can afford to feed a child!!!!!!!!!!!

  • albert

    to take away a lunch thats already served and throw it in the garbage only serve to reinforce the vindictive and cruel principle thats meted out when u dont have anything . one day these kids will grow up and will have no place in their harts for kindness and charity. because of the lesson they have learned here one day when we are old and depend on them they will return the same treatment , if you dont have money for grocery they would rather throw it in the garbage. be very careful about the image we show our children because one day they will reflect it back at us

  • ponce

    Great thing for this fellow to do. He likely had to endure some painful embarrassment himself as a child and could empathize with the kids. He is, of course, absolutely right – this isn’t on the kids, nor should it be. As for the parents? Who knows what the circumstances are, let’s hope it isn’t a problem for them again.

  • Linda

    Steve – are you kidding?! How on earth is this the “republicans” fault? You obviously do not know what you are talking about. What have YOU personally done lately to take care of the down trodden? I contribute to the backpack program for area schools, volunteer in low income neighborhoods, pay so much in taxes that I can barely pay my own bills, but I GIVE every month to my church so that my community is taken care of. I would really like to know what you do to help those less fortunate. What kind of example are YOU setting?

  • Linda

    Steve – again with the republican comments. You say in one breath that there are so many haters out there and then YOU respond with more hate towards republicans. Makes you kind of a hypocrite doesn’t it?

  • Linda

    I was not blaming anything on taxes, just stating the facts. I pay my taxes and I pay my bills. I don’t just give money I give my time as well. I just want you to understand that there are people in this country who are not defined by whether they are a Democrat or a Republican. I try not to judge people by what political party they belong to but rather by their individual actions. I don’t oppose any of the things that you say Republicans oppose, nor do any of the other Republicans that I know. You can’t lump all people together just because they belong to the same political party. I’m sure there are decisions that the Democrat party makes that you don’t agree with, but you vote Democrat because their philosophy is the closest to what you believe.