Forsyth mother pays off student lunch debt in 225 schools

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 11:23 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -A local mom is paying off student lunch debt for hundreds of students in Georgia schools this holiday.

Alessandra Ferrara-Miller is a mother of two with one mission every year, to make sure students like the ones she has at home won’t be heading home for the holidays with debt on their student lunch account.

“I heard a story on the news about an elementary school boy in Alabama being sent home with a lunch stamp on his arm saying that he needed lunch money, and this was after he had gone through the lunch line in front of all of his friends…and just hearing that story it broke my heart,” Alessandra said.

RELATED: School lunch debt law

It was a call to action Alessandra said she couldn’t ignore, so she quickly started doing her homework on how to formulate a nonprofit where she could raise money to pay off lunch debt on student accounts.

Eventually, she posted about it on Facebook and it snowballed from there.

“The very first donation we made was at my daughter’s elementary school at the time. I think that check was a couple of hundred dollars.”

It was a small start for her nonprofit, All For Lunch, but it’s now making a tremendous impact across Georgia for students and parents.

So far she’s raised $125,000 and paid off student lunch debts in full at 192 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, and 15 high schools in Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, and Barrow County School Districts.

″There was a student down the hall and he came to his teacher and said I don’t think I have money on my account today, but it’s ok I’m just going to ask my brother if he has money on his,” Cobb Elementary School teacher Rachel Elsberry said that she sees first hand how students struggling with food insecurity wear the financial stress on their sleeve too at school.

A mom in her community, Dawn Hood, also donated more than $3,000 to Cobb County Schools to pay off student lunch debt.

“People like Dawn Hood who are reaching out to the community too and giving us help, it makes a huge impact,” Elsberry said.

A way of easing the burden on parents ahead of the holidays, with one mom’s mission, ‘All For Lunch.’

“It’s just been so overwhelming the support we’re getting from the local community,” All For Lunch nonprofit creator Alessandra Ferrara-Miller said.

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