Here’s a happy story for you: A Texas church recently paid off a school district’s lunch debt, so that students who owed money to the district for food didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
The church had done something similar in 2017 for a local elementary school; this time, they decided to raise more money and help the whole school district.
By Christmas, the 200-member congregation donated more than $10,000.
“If the church does not impact the community the church is in, then the church isn’t doing its job,” [Pastor Chris] Everson said. “With us having the opportunity to make an impact, then we are doing what Christ has called us to do to — serve the least of these.”
Adi Bryant, Royse City ISD’s chief communications officer, said the church quietly handed over a check around Christmas.
“We didn’t have to cry out and ask for this help, they saw that families needed support and they stepped in and did it,” Bryant said.
Some Christians think living out the Bible means building a wall to keep refugees out, or working at a school that forbids LGBTQ students, or deflecting the severity of sexual assault claims.
Others think it means actually helping people.
The money covered the payments for 226 families who owed $20 or more for a total of about $6,000. The rest of the money will cover those costs in the future. (About 40% of the students in this district receive a free or reduced price lunch.) And the money will literally change what some kids eat:
When a student is $25 or more past due, the student still receives a meal of a turkey or ham sandwich, a piece of fruit and milk. But, the student no longer receives a hot meal.
“It really broke my heart to see there were students who were trying to learn, students who were trying to get through the day,” Everson said. “Knowing the school did what they could to provide for them, but you need more than just a sandwich and a carton of milk to make it through the rest of the school day.”
Good on this church for doing something so generous — without any strings attached. It’s a win-win for everyone. Incidentally, I wonder if more churches would see an increase in tithe money if this is the sort of cause those dollars went to.