“I thought, you know something? If for a modest sum I could make that change, I’m gonna do it,” Levy told a local CBS affiliate.
Palm Beach school district spokeswoman Julie Houston Trieste confirmed the donation to The Washington Post. She noted that while students were still served lunch and other free meals even if they had outstanding lunch balances, donations could still help families unable to pay.
This isn’t the first time a member of the community has stepped up to pay off lunch debt. According to Trieste, an anonymous donor paid $5,000 earlier this year.
With the total amount of lunch debt for the school district coming to about $50,000, “There’s still definitely a need there for sure,” Trieste said.
The school district’s website provides instructions for how individuals can donate funds to reduce student lunch debt. Last year, $21,000 in donations helped 4,000 students pay off their lunch debts, according to the district.
Trieste said while Levy’s act of kindness had not set off a wave of donations, she said individuals had expressed interest in starting GoFundMe accounts or had reached out to the school district to find out how they could contribute funds of their own.
Levy told local media that the October donation would not be his last.
“I’m going to do either a GoFundMe page or a fundraising page that can raise money every quarter, so lunch debt never accumulates so that children never have to worry about a hot meal and parents never have to worry about paying the bill,” he told CBS12.