Josette Duran’s son Dylan came home from school one day and asked if she could start making make two lunches every school day. She thought he wasn't eating enough, but Dylan told her that he had noticed a boy in class who only ate a fruit cup at lunchtime and thought it was because he had no lunch money.
In the weeks following, Josette began sending Dylan to school with extra sandwiches, yogurt, and chips. When the boy's mother found out, she asked the school to call Josette so she could personally thank her and offered to reimburse her—to which Josette says she declined.
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According to the USDA, 7 million American children suffered from food insecurity in 2015, many of which along with their parents, not knowing when they would have their next meal.
"This hits home to me because a few years ago, me and my son were homeless," Josette explained. "I was living in my car, I was washing him in bathrooms, and we didn’t have food."
The moving account was posted to a Reddit subgroup for Uplifting News and promptly began receiving hundreds of comments of individuals sharing their own stories of being on either end of the scenario.
Here are a couple of those accounts:
User Ignitionnight says,“I knew we didn't have money so I never told my mom when I ran out of lunch money. One time I racked up a negative bill so bad they were going to not let me eat school lunch and they finally called my mom. When she came to pick me up she was crying at my school because she couldn't afford to pay it (she was working full time and didn't qualify for free lunch). My friends mom saw and paid it off plus added a chunk of money to it. I wasn't old enough to really appreciate the gesture, so I never said thanks. Will you tell your mom I said thanks? She didn't help me specifically but she helped somebody in the same situation so it might as well have been me.”
User Chazzwazzle says, "Coming from a guy that has a bestfriend that did this for me. Thank you. He saw it as nothing as well, I can never repay him for how much it meant to me. Even when my mother kicked me out at 16, I lived in his backyard in a tent and every time his father would leave, I would come in to eat, shower etc. He's still my best friend 28 years later and one of the only dudes I truly love to death."
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One Reddit named BoomerKieth user even shared a story about how he decided to settle lunch debts for parents:
"My son's school would literally give the students two packages of crackers (not cheese or peanut butter crackers, just regular crackers) and a carton of milk. Fortunately, my son never had to worry about that, but when I found out about it I started going into the school every month and paying up all the late accounts. It wasn't a major amount (the most I ever paid was around $23), but I couldn't bare the thought of one of these elementary kids eating that for lunch."
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Many schools across the nation allow students to eat a meal without paying up front, but issues of privacy and harsh regulations raise conflict. Many recall the cafeteria worker who quit her Pennsylvania elementary school job after a new policy asked her to throw away hot meals away for students who owed more than $25..
On the brighter side, in 2014, New York City began offering free lunch to all middle school students no matter their parent’s income bracket. Baltimore followed suit in 2015.
In any case, no child should go hungry while pursuing an education, especially in a country among the top ten richest in the world. Keeping their peers healthy and full, people like the Durans bring cheer to the world with their viral kindness.
Have you recently witnessed a selfless act of kindness? Share with us in the comments section below!
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