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Mesa mom starts fundraiser for kids who can’t afford school lunch

(Getty Images Photo/Tim Boyle)

PHOENIX — One Mesa mom’s 5-year-old inspired her to start a fundraiser for children who can’t afford school lunches.

Jennifer Kruk’s son Noah brought his dad’s pocket change to school one day and opened up a lunch account even though he had brought a packed meal.

“I thought, ‘This is great. He’ll eat more at school and so he’ll pay more attention because he won’t be hungry,'” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

But that got her thinking — what about all the kids who can’t afford to have a lunch?

“Who else could use a little extra lunch money? And who else is not getting enough at lunch time and therefore not really able to focus on school?” Kruk said.

Kruk said kids at Noah’s school who can’t afford lunch get crackers and cheese, but she said those kids can feel less important than those with regular lunches.

She said she had some extra money that she offered to the school to use for someone who needed it. When she picked Noah up, the school told her the money had gone to a student who was really appreciative of it.

She decided to start a GoFundMe that puts money into a shared account for students in need, with a goal of providing at least $50 per week.

“My goal was how can I feed kids tomorrow. … I wasn’t worried about what processes were in place,” she said.

“I was just worried about if somebody comes up tomorrow and they want lunch and they don’t have any lunch money, how can we get that little girl or little boy fed?”

According to GoFundMe, more than 200 campaigns have raised nearly $750,000 since 2017 in an effort to erase school lunch debt.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report. 

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