The donation will pay off the accounts through around the first of the year, Roanoke Rapids Graded School District spokesman Les Atkins said.
The donor wished to remain anonymous, the school system said in a statement.
“Parents sometimes find themselves short at the end of the month and don’t have the money to pay for their child’s lunch which in turn results in mounting unpaid balances,” said Michelle Puckett, the school system’s child nutrition director. “I know this donation is a welcome relief to many of our parents right here at the holidays.”
The RRGSD Board of Trustees instructed school nutrition staff several years ago to provide students with a hot lunch regardless of accumulated balances.
“This enables our students to be able to focus on the instruction in the classroom,” said Superintendent Dain Butler. “Throughout the year school administrators and community outreach liaisons work with our school nutrition staff to identify students that have growing balances. Our school teams work with those parents to pay down lunchroom debt and identify community services the family may need.”
Additionally, free and reduced lunch applications are sent out at the beginning of each school year to all students in the RRGSD. All completed applications returned are submitted.
“Acts like this should remind us there is still a lot of good in this city if we just focus on it,” said Belmont PTA President Justin Fender. “Anything to lighten the burden on the parents of students, especially this time of year, is such a blessing.”