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Sun Prairie Hunger Heroes to take on 57k school lunch debt

(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 22, 2017 at 4:21 PM CDT
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV)---In the Sun Prairie School district, no student is denied a hot lunch for his or her inability to pay, but one side effect of this fight against hunger is a $57,000 lunch balance deficit.

Sun Prairie schools aren't going to let any debt amount leave a child hungry. The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition or "SPARC" began as an initiative to provide snacks for school children, so teachers didn't have to pay for them out of their own pockets. Now SPARC and the Sun Prairie Community are ready to take on the lunch debt, head on

"Kids cannot learn when their mind is not on what they're doing and when they are thinking about where their next meal is coming from." said retired Sun Prairie teacher and SPARC member Cathy Pagel.

Sun Prairie schools have no plans to turn back on their mission to provide equitable lunches to all students, so their new battle is to take on the debt with the community's help.

"We're calling on the community to help us do our part to make sure that no kid goes hungry in our schools and that every kid can be in the classroom and ready to learn with a full tummy and eager attitude." said SPARC member Heather DuBois Bourenane.

After SPARC successfully implemented a program for classroom snacks for students, they're now hoping their Hunger Heroes lunch debt initiative will gain similar community momentum.

"What people should really realize is that for some families in this district, they are trying to decide on whether they pay their electrical bill or for their students' lunch accounts." said Sun Prairie Director of Nutrition Kathy Walker.

SPARC has formed a 501c3 nonprofit and donations to Hunger Heroes are tax deductible.

"The mission of SPARC is to build long-term relationships and healthy collaborations," said DuBois Bourenane. "We are a network of people who care deeply about doing the right thing for kids. We hope other districts will look to what we're doing here as a model for how we can work together and find solutions that when everybody chipped in solving big problems can be an easy thing for all of us"

To become a Hunger Hero, head to https://sunprairieaction.org/

To become a Hunger Hero, head to https://sunprairieaction.org/