School lunch debt has been a very hot topic across the country. There have been countless news stories of very young children being left to starve, or being humiliated with a cold meal while everyone else receives a hot one, because of not being able to pay for their lunch. On a more positive note, there have also been stories of selfless people from all walks of life offering to pay off school lunch debt for entire classes and even entire schools. Ryan Kyote is a 9-year-old elementary school student in Napa, California. When he heard about the student lunch debt crisis, he paid off the lunch debt for his entire class. His kind gesture has gone viral on social media and added to the bigger conversation about this crisis facing millions of hungry school children.
Ryan Has A Big Heart
Although he is only 9 years old, Ryan Kyote is extremely familiar with school lunch debt. When he hears that one of his friends cannot pay for their own lunch, he regularly offers cafeteria workers his lunch card to pay for his friends. Ryan’s parents are proud of him for being so selfless.
Ryan realized that the problem was much bigger than his classroom when he heard a news report about a five-year-old in Indiana who was not allowed to eat school lunch because of not being able to afford it. The story was unbelievable to Ryan. He could not understand how somebody could deprive such a young child of food. That led Ryan to think more about the children in his own class who could not afford their own school lunches.
Ryan Clears The Debt
Ryan was concerned that the same thing could happen to his classmates. To calm his fears, his mom contacted the school district to ask what the lunch debt policy was. Fortunately, in Ryan’s school district, a child who cannot pay for their lunch will still be given a hot lunch for the day. However, families who cannot afford to pay for lunch on a daily basis are left to struggle with a large bill at the end of the school year.
Ryan was glad to hear that none of his classmates would be left starving, but he did not want their families to deal with a bill either. Ryan decided to do what he could to help his classmates. He had been saving up his allowance for six months, and he had hoped it would be enough to cover the debts of all his classmates. When his mother checked into it, he did have enough to cover the $74.50 that his classmates could not pay. While this may seem like a small sum to an adult, Ryan selflessly gave up the money that he had been saving up to buy sports equipment on behalf of his classmates.
Ryan Goes Viral
Ryan’s mother was so proud of her son that she posted the story, along with pictures of him, on social media. Although most people were proud of what the boy had done, many people were outraged that his actions were necessary at all. People across the country have realized just how terrible the school lunch debt situation has become. They are seeing countless examples of young children, who have no control over their parents’ income, starving every day because they are deprived of a decent school lunch, which is the only meal of the day for millions of hungry children across America.
Many could say that Ryan’s selfless spirit is certainly a ray of sunshine in a cloudy situation. His example shows that we can all do our part to help those around us, no matter how big or small of a contribution we may be able to make.
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