Lancaster elementary students aim to help classmates pay lunch debt


A group of Lancaster elementary students is leading the charge to clear thousands of dollars’ worth of lunch debt before the end of the school year.

Several students in the afterschool program at Gorsuch West Elementary made a goal of raising $350 to clear any money their classmates owed to the school.

“Well, our estimate for several people, not for like everyone, but some, is about $350 to pay at least half of it,” said fifth-grader Mia Lee.

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The group decided to hold a bake sale to raise the money as well as approach members of City Council.

The students in the afternoon program who call themselves the “cupcake warriors” have raised nearly $800 with the help of council donations.

Principal Terri Garrett says with about 580 students, the lunch debt is around $6,700. She says around 75% of her students are on free or reduced lunch and regardless of how much a student owes, they are never denied a hot meal

“I think it’s one of those things where our parents are working and trying their best. I think it’s just hard to make ends meet," she said.

For the students, the labor of love is a life lesson. The elementary students are getting a first-hand taste of selflessness and small business.

“It makes me feel really good that everything we’ve been working on is going so well and everyone is so supportive,” Lee said.