Not every kid in the Minneapolis Public Schools can easily pay for a school lunch. A donation campaign that's spreading through social media aims to change that fact.

St. Paul is getting in on the fundraising, too.

Around 4,000 accounts in Minneapolis are overdue, leaving a total outstanding balance of $160,000. The district's nonprofit partner Achieve Minneapolis is accepting donations pledged to Minneapolis schools' nutrition services school lunch fund to help.

"Gifts as small as $25 can pay off an account for a student and mean a great deal to a family having a tough time making ends meet," said a post on the Minneapolis district's website.

As of Monday morning, more than $50,000 has been raised in 1,300 contributions, according to the Minneapolis district. The district added that Minneapolis students get full meals despite their outstanding balances. Further information on the Minneapolis schools fundraising campaign is here:

On Friday, the St. Paul Public Schools also responded to what it described as "many, many phone calls" from people offering donations by creating a fundraising account at:

The district said that it had 1,793 students whose families have been unable to pay for lunches, and that its outstanding balance is $27,879. No students are turned away at lunchtime, but a delinquent balance can mean the difference between a hot meal and a cheese sandwich, a spokeswoman said.

The Food for Thought website campaign allows people to donate $10 or more, with a $10 donation covering the cost of four school lunches. As of 4:20 p.m. Friday, the district had reached $345 of its $28,000 goal. 

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune