Lunch debt in the United States soared by 70% over the past six years. Three-quarters of school districts have unpaid meal costs that range from $10 to over $500,000. Although the figures aren’t broken down per student or school, the inability to pay for lunches is an increasing problem for Americans.
Keoni Ching might only be eight years old, but he is making a big difference at Benjamin Franklin Elementary in Washington State. He produces and sells keychains for $5. Then the money goes directly to paying off lunch debt.
Ching has collected over $4,000 to help out his fellow students. That was enough to eliminate the debt burden at seven local schools.
Keoni Has Sold at Least 300 Key Chains
As word got out about Ching’s service project, people from all over the United States wanted to buy one to help out his cause. Some people asked to purchase them for $100 instead of the $5 he was charging.
The stories of lunch shaming in the United States are inspiring action. Having meals taken away or forcing children to eat basic foods like a cheese sandwich is not the solution to this debt.
Taking action to do something about it stops bullying, helps families and creates entrepreneurial opportunities.
If you ask Keoni Ching about what he is doing, you won’t get a political answer. He says that helping others is the best thing someone can do – and that’s the only thing that matters.