The Lodi Vintage Touch Car Club donated a $1,000 check to make sure children at a Woodbridge, California elementary school don't go hungry because of lunch debt.
In the United States, students in public schools can rack up hundreds of dollars in debt for simply eating a hot meal from their school cafeterias at lunchtime. More often than not, these debts, unfortunately, have consequences (academic or otherwise). Students can be suspended or be banned from eating lunch in the future. Of course, this is completely unfair. Depriving a growing child of their basic nutrition is detrimental to their health and learning in the classroom. Thankfully, sometimes, guardian angels step in to make sure that young students have access to the nutritious meals that they deserve. Most recently, a generous lowrider club in California decided to pay off about a thousand dollars in school lunch debt, making sure that at least some students are able to comfortably continue their education, ABC News reports.
Just in time for Christmas, members of the Lodi Vintage Touch Car Club, a lowrider club, made the decision to get together and pay off pending student lunch debts. They did so after discovering that several parents at an elementary school in Woodbridge, California, an area near Sacramento, were yet to pay off about $450 in lunch debts. After gathering the funds to clear off these debts, they wanted to take things just a step further. Therefore, they wrote out a check for $1,000, which meant that several other students could be debt-free, too. There probably isn't a Christmas gift that beats that.
In an interview with ABC News, Lodi Vintage Touch Car Club member Raul Valenzuela stated, "We're a giving club, that's it. I mean, we all pretty much family, everybody helps out everybody." Their random but generous act of kindness has impacted many students at the Woodbridge elementary school. However, this is not the first time the lowrider club has made a positive impact on their community. In the past, they have gotten together to perform similar acts of kindness. Felicia Ramirez with Car Clubs Unite explained, "We try to get together to do a lot of stuff to help the community, because we do want people to know it's not just the whole stereotype, we want to help out, too."
But the club does not plan to stop here. Once the holidays are over, the club hopes to organize more fundraising initiatives in order to pay off the entire Lodi Unified School District's lunch debt. The total debt adds up to about $35,000. It may be quite a large target, but the Lodi Vintage Touch Car Club is determined to make sure every student in their area has a hot meal at lunchtime when they attend school. At present, an estimated 11 million children in the United States live in "food insecure" homes, as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This means their lunch at school may be the only nutritious meal they eat all day. While the United States government and local state bodies should be doing more to correct institutional and systemic inequities by introducing more effective policy and diverting funds towards school lunches, it is heartening to know that there are people in our communities willing to take action and make a positive change.