Texas Church Pays Off Lunch Debt for Town’s Entire School District, More Than 200 Students Will Have Access to Better Meals

Adi Bryant (R), Royse City Independent School District’s chief communications officer in Texas, recognizes Royse City UMC Pastor Chris Everson, for leading his church into paying of the lunch debt for more than 200 students in the district. | Screenshot: NBC 5 | Screenshot: NBC 5

More than 200 students will now have access to more substantial lunches in the Royse City Independent School District in Texas, after the congregation of the Royse City First United Methodist Church paid off thousands of dollars in lunch debt that had prevented them from getting access to hot meals.

“If the church does not impact the community the church is in, then the church isn’t doing its job,” Royse City UMC Pastor Chris Everson told NBC 5 in a recent interview. “With us having the opportunity to make an impact, then we are doing what Christ has called us to do to — serve the least of these.”

Everson explained that his 200-member church has a tradition of donating their Christmas Eve offerings to charity. In 2017, the church split the offerings between a nonprofit and a nearby elementary school to help students get out of lunch debt.

According to Everson, when a student in the district is $25 or more past due in lunch payments, that student no longer gets a hot meal from the school. They will still however receive a turkey or ham sandwich, a piece of fruit and milk. Adi Bryant, Royse City ISD’s chief communications officer also told the network that 40 percent of the district’s approximately 6,000 students receive free or reduced price lunches as part of the National School Lunch Program.

“It really broke my heart to see there were students who were trying to learn, students who were trying to get through the day,” Everson said. “Knowing the school did what they could to provide for them, but you need more than just a sandwich and a carton of milk to make it through the rest of the school day.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair