Gulfport couple donates funds to pay off meal debt at Orange Grove school

The Tindel's donation is the largest single cafeteria donation in the past five years.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:06 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gulfport residents Buster and Nelda Tindel presented Orange Grove Elementary School‘s cafeteria with a $2,700 check to pay off student meal debts from the fall semester.

It’s one of the largest donations given to a Harrison County school in the last five years. It comes as rising inflation puts pressure on students’ families.

The couple said they had to take action when they heard about the trials at Orange Grove.

“We’re glad we could do it,” Buster said. “The good Lord’s been good to us, so we’re just trying to help a little bit where we can.”

“This year we decided to help the local kids with their lunches,” Nelda said. ‘I grew up with a big family who couldn’t afford to pay for lunches so just glad to help out.”

Cafeteria Manager Russell Scott said inflation means more families are struggling.

“Last year with COVID going on and all, the price of the meals was free. This year it started back up being costly to a lot of families that aren’t used to it,” Scott said.

Scott said this generous donation will be a big difference for families at the school.

“There need to be more big-hearted people like these two people right here and it helps a lot,” he said. “Maybe in the future, more people will let their heart reach out.”

The couple said sharing their blessings means helping build a brighter future for the children.

“They’re are our future,” Buster said. “You can’t deny our future these kids are the next presidents and scientists and everything. They’re important.”

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