Anonymous donor pays off lunch debts at Lizana Elementary

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Updated: Feb. 2, 2019 at 6:33 AM CST
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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Several families received a pleasant surprise at Lizana Elementary School Friday when a donor stepped in to pay off outstanding lunch debts.

The donor, a successful business owner in Lizana, donated $500 to help pay off the lunchroom debts. That generous person, who wished to remain anonymous, told the school that he or she wanted to help families affected by the government shutdown.

“Some of our households may not have received a paycheck for five or six weeks,” said Harrison County Child Nutrition Director Brad Barlow. “We saw that our debt limits were constantly increasing, so this donor was able to tackle those.”

The generous gift made a big difference for some students. Once a student’s lunch debt exceeds a certain amount, that student is given an alternate lunch.

“The donation will make a big difference for families that do not have the means to take care of their negative balances,” said Trang Pham-Bui. the public relations specialist for the Harrison County School District.

The donor contacted Harrison County School District’s Child Nutrition Director after seeing media reports about the federal government shutdown and how household incomes could be affected.

“A lot of our families, even though they may not be affected by the shutdown, may be affected in other ways financially,” said Dr. Dawn Hearn, Lizana Elementary’s principal. “It’s just a wonderful feeling to know that there’s people out there that help.”

“We greatly appreciate it,” the school’s nutrition manager Shannon Scarborough. “The parents I’m sure appreciate it. The students definitely because now they’re able to get that full meal.”

The generous benefactor is a former student of Lizana Elementary and wanted to give back to the community.

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