Ohio Church Pays Off School Lunch Debt for Children in 10 Districts

When pastors at a church in Ohio presented a challenge to pay off children’s lunch debt in two school districts, they weren’t sure what would happen. They were shocked when the congregation gave enough money to eliminate lunch debt in 10 districts.

“Because of your generosity and because of the abundance and grace of our God, not only did we hit that goal but exceeded it and to date over $40,000 have come in!” Salem Church of God Lead Pastor Steve Southards said on Sunday.

The Clayton, Ohio, church had initially reached out to two neighboring school districts — Northmont and Brookville, which had a combined student lunch debt of over $14,000.

Though unsure about the congregation’s ability to give that much, Southards and the church’s Next Steps pastor, Bob Hawker, decided to announce the project during last Sunday’s service. Within four days, members gave $40,000, enough to pay off outstanding lunch debt in 10 school districts.

The church can now eliminate lunch debt also in the districts of Vandalia-Butler, New Lebanon, Milton-Union, Tri-County North, Franklin-Monroe, Troy, Eaton and Kettering.

“One school food service manager was pretty emotional. He said they’ve [had the debt] for so long,” Hawker said. “There was immense gratitude. Our schools spend so much of their time giving and giving, so for them to get to receive is a big deal.”

“As a church, we want to go looking for trouble, and we want to right a wrong,” Lead Pastor Steve Southards was quoted as saying. “We want to show the love of Jesus in really tangible ways that meets the needs of people.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar