An eighth-grader has pledged to eliminate the school lunch debt for a district of 129 schools. Ben Hofer, 14, started a project he’s calling “LunchCounts!” with a goal of raising $18,000 to pay off all of the school lunch debt in the Austin Independent School District. His GoFundMe campaign kicked off on April 21st and so far, he’s raised $8,000 for his cause.
Ben got interested in the school lunch debt issue after hearing about the “lunch shaming” some students endure if their lunch account is behind. When he started “LunchCounts!” his goal was to raise enough to pay off the school lunch debts at three schools with the highest balances, but within a few days, he exceeded that goal. Now he’s raised almost half the district's overall debt and the Texas teen says, “I don't think we'll get there by the end of the school year, but you never know.”