Ashwaubenon Woman Raises Funds to Erase Lunch Debts

Local News

What started as some birthday fun has turned into an effort to make sure every student in one school district has lunch everyday.

A long-time cafeteria cashier was inspired by her teenage son to raise money for a cause.

After searching for something to fund she found there was a need she could help fulfill right here at home.

Melissa Albers is worried some students won’t get to eat any food on that menu because they don’t have the money to pay for lunch.

“Kids shouldn’t have to worry about food, it’s heartbreaking,” says Albers. “And for everyone that we see I know that there are more they don’t even come through the line because they’re embarrassed.”

But Melissa decided to use her upcoming birthday as a way to change that.

She made a Facebook post last week, asking her friends and family to donate to an account that would pay for Parkview students’ negative lunch account balances.

“It’s the one part of my job that I don’t appreciate that much and the idea just came to me one day literally while I was working.”

Initially Melissa just wanted to raise $500.

But she exceeded that goal in less than 24 hours.

Now she’s aiming for $2000 in hopes she can pay for all the students in the district who have a negative account balance.

“When she posted that it just wanted to make me cry,” says child nutrition coordinator Betsy Farah. “Because I see the need for our children every day I work here and unfortunately it’s here in Ashwaubenon .”

There’s still about four weeks until Melissa’s birthday.

She’s gotten donations from as near as Ashwaubenon and as far as Copenhagen in Denmark.

But her greatest birthday wish is that she can continue to inspire people right here at home.

“The amount of joy and happiness it’s giving me is amazing,” says Albers. “I’m looking forward to seeing new faces in my line that can enjoy a hot lunch. For some kids it’s the only hot meal that they get in a day and maybe I’ll help inspire kids and other adults to help when you can.”

If you’d like to donate you can follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/donate/183537622445446/10216198141522716/

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