Updated: December 23, 2019 06:35 PM
Created: December 23, 2019 10:30 AM
(ABC 6 News) - Hormel Foods will erase lunch debt at schools in six of their plant communities this holiday season, including Austin.
About 60 percent of families in the Austin Public Schools district qualify for free or reduced lunch, but some families who don't qualify for the program have trouble making ends meet.
"We've had a program over the last few years where people could donate to remove the debt from those families who don't fit the free and reduced, but are right on that fringe and really have struggles,” said Superintendent David Krenz.
The Austin Public School District has accrued between $10,000 and $15,000 of school lunch debt this year, but with the help of donations from local contributors that number has been reduced down to about $5,000 worth of unpaid meals. Now, Hormel is picking up the tab.
"All 1,800 employees here at the plant have kids that are in the school system or have friends or family members that are impacted. It's just important Hormel Foods does its part to help reach out and ease some of that burden,” said Austin plant manager Clint Walters.
In addition to Austin Public Schools, Hormel is erasing school lunch debt in five other plant communities across the country, totaling over $28,000.
"It just eliminates a lot of headache for our families and for our parents,” said Krenz.
Krenz says ensuring that the over 5,200 students of Austin Public Schools have a hot breakfast and lunch is essential.
"It does impact the day to day education and learning for our kids,” Krenz said.
The special, one-time gift is greatly appreciated by the families of the hard working plant community.
"It's just amazing that the community thinks about other organizations other than themselves to give and to be able to help make this season, this time of season, so much better for all,” said Krenz.
The donation checks from Hormel Foods will be presented to the schools in January.
(ABC 6 News) - School lunch debt across 6 communities is going to be erased by Hormel this holiday season.
This one-time gift of $28,000 will help ease the burden for schools and families at the six plant communities. The schools receiving funds from Hormel Foods are as follows:
For additional information about the company’s hunger-relief efforts, please visit https://csr.hormelfoods.com/communities/.
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