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Man raises money to help pay off student lunch debt at Utah school

Posted at 2:12 PM, Dec 20, 2022

WEST JORDAN, Utah (KSTU)— A person who wanted to make a difference found a way to provide relief to families who owed student lunch debt.

Tua Kealoha raised $12,050 to help pay off school lunch debt at Heartland Elementary in Utah.

“I believe that food is one of those things that kids shouldn’t have to worry about,” said Kealoha. “I see these guys as my kids, and these are anybody’s kids.”

For two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students receive free lunches. But this year, their families had to pay for the meals. it’s on their families to pay for it.

“There’s always this middle ground of families that don’t qualify for free or reduced lunches, or their family situation has recently changed – a donation like that of Kealoha’s helps bless a whole bunch of families," said principal Buddy Alger.

When Kealoha learned about lunch debt, he made it his mission to help.

“I’m not from this district, but I believe when it comes to helping kids, there is no such thing as districts," he said.

“I also want to help spread awareness to this issue that there is such a thing as school lunch debt, so find it in yourself to pay off the lunch debt for a student or the whole school,” added Kealoha.

Kealoha hopes his good deed will inspire others to help out in their communities.

“It takes a community to help our community. Hnstead of looking for outside help, we have to just come together and unite and we can help each other out,” he said.

This story was originally reported by Mythili Gubbi on