9-Year-Old Pays School Lunch Debt for His Entire Class

In this Sept. 20, 2011 photo, students eat their lunch at Northeast Elementary Magnet in Danville, Ill. The curriculum at the public school is focused on health and wellness, and families have to sign a contract agreeing to abide by that. School lunches are low-fat or no-fat, with fresh fruit …
Seth Perlman/AP Photo

Ryan Kirkpatrick used his own allowance money to pay his entire third grade class’s outstanding lunch money at West Park Elementary School in Napa, California.

Kirkpatrick had a conversation with his mother in which he expressed concern for children in his class that were unable to pay for their lunches. In response, she e-mailed the school to find out how much outstanding debt the other children in his class had.

“I think it was $74.50,” she told ABC affiliate KGO. “So, I took that email and came to Ryan and said, ‘What do you want to do.’ He said, ‘I guess I can pay for it.’ I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said, ‘Yes,'” she recalled.

Meals at West Park Elementary School vary in cost according to family income, from 30 cents up to $3.25. The school district confirmed that all kids will receive a hot lunch regardless of whether they have a negative balance on their lunch account.

But Ryan just wanted to help his classmates: “I want them to realize that people actually think about them,” he said. “I want them to feel happy someone cares about them.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.