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Young Sisters Use Lemonade Stand To Raise Over $4,000 To Pay Off Classmates’ Student Lunch Debt

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Unpaid student lunch debts are a growing problem at school districts across the country. Many districts have faced criticism for forcing students with unpaid lunch debts to eat cold sandwiches, go without meals, or face other consequences.

The CEO of Chobani recently donated almost $50,000 to pay off lunch debts at Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island. At another district in Wisconsin, a concerned father paid off every student’s lunch debt at his daughter’s school.

And now, two young students are doing their own part to help out.

Hailey and Hannah Hager live in Davidson County, North Carolina, where the school district is owed $41,000 in debt, according to Yahoo. Hannah, 11, has a friend who sometimes doesn’t have enough to eat at school because she cannot afford it.

That seems mighty unfair to the Hagers.

“It’s not the kids’ fault,” mom Erin Hager told Inside Edition. “I don’t even know how they could do that to little children that are innocent.”

Hannah and Hailey decided to use their lemonade stand, Hailey and Hannah’s Helping Hands, to raise money to help pay off their classmates’ debts.

“Nobody likes to see other people struggle with anything,” Hannah said.

They have raised about $4,500 so far from their lemonade stand, Facebook page, and local churches.

“It just takes a little bit of effort and you can do amazing things from it,” Hailey, 13, said.

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