A real estate agent has become a local hero after he paid off the lunch debt for more than 400 kids in Jupiter, Florida.
When Andrew Levy of Echo Fine Properties in Palm Beach Gardens learned that some families in the area were struggling to pay their children’s lunch bills, he decided to wipe the slate clean. He paid a total of $944.34 to cover the outstanding lunch debt in the area’s nine public schools.
‘These children that were in debt were going to either not eat or they would get just cheese sandwiches and I thought that’s crazy,’ he told WPEC.
Local hero: Andrew Levy, a real estate agent in Jupiter, Florida, paid off the total outstanding lunch debt in the area’s nine public schools
Making a change: The realtor said he thought it was ‘crazy’ that the children in debt were either not eating or getting cheese sandwiches
The realtor’s act of kindness came after he saw a Facebook post concerning the area’s lunch debt.
Angie Vyas-Knight, the administrator of the Jupiter Mamas Facebook group, told CNN that she asked the Palm Beach County school board for stats on her district’s outstanding lunch dept after seeing a national news story about children who couldn’t afford lunch.
She shared the number with the groups’ followers, and weeks later, the information made its way to Andrew.
Although he doesn’t have any children in the district or any personal connection to the schools, he felt compelled to pay off the balance in full.
‘Food is something that you shouldn’t have to think about,’ he told WPEC of what motivated him. ‘Children shouldn’t have to learn hungry.’
Making a difference: After leaning the total lunch debt in the schools was $944.34, he decided to pay it off in full
Act of kindness: Andrew doesn’t have any children in the district or any personal connection to the schools he helped out
Chain reaction: After meeting with the district, Andrew shared on Facebook that he had paid off the debt himself, prompting others to comment and ask how they can help
After meeting with the district, Andrew shared on Facebook that he had paid off the debt himself.
His post prompted more than 200 people to comment and ask how they could follow his lead and help out.
‘I even have had some clients over the past 48 hours say, “You know something? I want to help I want to give too,”‘ he said of the chain reaction.
Not only has Andrew helped out hundreds of local families, but he is also doing his part to ensure that kids in Jupiter always have something to eat at school.
Do-gooder: Andrew said he plans on starting a fundraising page to raise money every quarter so the debt doesn’t accumulate
Grateful; Nicole Daly, the principal at Jupiter Elementary (pictured), said she thinks ‘it’s wonderful’ that Andrew paid off the lunch debt
‘I’m going to do either a GoFundMe page or a fundraising page that can raise money every quarter, so lunch debt never accumulates so that children never have to worry about a hot meal and parents never have to worry about paying the bill,’ he said.
Nicole Daly, the principal at Jupiter Elementary, told WPBF that she was happy to learn her school’s lunch debt was paid off.
‘I think it’s wonderful,’ she said. ‘To do this for our students, it’s just amazing, because it really means a lot to our community.’
While Andrew is making a difference in his area, there is still plenty of work to be done.
A spokesperson told CNN that the total school lunch debt was around $50,000 for more than 180,000 enrolled students in Palm Beach County.