A woman dropped off a $5,227 check at Maple Grove High School this week, wiping away the overdue lunch balances for hundreds of students.
The woman, who asked to be anonymous, donated $3,227 to cover all overdue lunch accounts plus an additional $2,000 for future unpaid balances.
It’s the latest in a string of holiday donations to pay off overdue lunch balances at Twin Cities schools.
“It warms your heart,” said Osseo Schools spokeswoman Barbara Olson. “Some days you wonder if people are that generous anymore. This person clearly was. ... We don’t know what motivated her or her connection to the school.”
Maple Grove High enrolls around 2,300 students. About 14 percent of students receive free and reduced lunch.
This donation likely helps working-class families just about that threshold, Olson said.
“These are the kids who are not able to have that benefit, but whose families are still struggling,” Olson said.
Maple Grove High continues to serve hot lunches to students if they are not paid up, but it affects students in other ways.
“If you have a deficit lunch balance, it goes on our fine list. You can’t apply for a parking permit. You can’t buy tickets to a dance and it can restrict your participation in activities,” Olson said.
Osseo Schools also have an ongoing collaboration with Passion Church in Maple Grove to help struggling families cover lunch balances, Olson said.