Lemonade for lunches: Ohio family raising money to pay off negative school lunch balances

They made a post about their plans on social media and it took off

Ohio family raising money to pay off negative school lunch balances

WARREN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - After learning that several hundred Little Miami students may not be able to afford school lunches, a Morrow family is trying to make a difference by putting together a fundraiser.

Ashley Shelton heard that a local student had been bringing an extra sandwich to school every day to give to another child in need at lunch, so she said she decided to find out if kids in her neighborhood district, Little Miami Schools, are facing similar struggles.

“Currently, there are 326 students on the negative account lunch lists, which their debt now equals $662,” said Ashley.

Little Miami district officials said about 18 percent of their students qualify for free or reduced lunches, though those numbers can change daily. A spokesperson said that in comparison to other communities, the numbers may seem low or small, but they, and the Sheltons, believe every student at every school matters.

Ashley and her husband Scott decided to take action. With the help of their children and cousins, they are putting together a lemonade stand and bake sale. Their goal is to help ensure no students are left without lunch money, or without a meal, at the start of the next school year.

“It’s for kids of all ages,” said Scott. “Could be first graders, could be preschoolers.”

They made a post about their plans on social media and said the post took off. Hundreds of people have now said they are planning to attend the June fundraiser.

“The last thing I would ever want is for a student to be hungry at school,” said Ashley. “The community has honestly been very sincere and very much appreciated.”

No matter how much money is raised, the Sheltons hope that the event will help them spread an important message.

“For as much bad as there is exposed to the world, there’s still a lot of good out there,” said Scott.

The Sheltons hope to repeat the event every year. District officials said they are thankful for what the family is doing. To find out more details, like how to make a donation, or how to help ahead of the fundraiser, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The fundraiser will take place on June 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bertie and Hucks Restaurant at 15 East Foster Maineville Road in Maineville. Lemonade and baked goods will be for sale, and the Sheltons will also be accepting monetary donations.

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