By Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY
After hearing last week that dozens of Utah students had their school lunches taken because their accounts were delinquent, a Texas man decided to help students in similar situations near him.
Kenny Thompson, a 52-year-old mentor and tutor at Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston, did some research and learned that children at the school where he works were receiving cold cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of full trays of food because they had negative balances on their lunch accounts.
These were children whose parents couldn't afford the 40 cents per day fee, so Thompson took $465 and paid off the delinquent accounts of 60 children, KPRC television reports.
"It was the best money I ever spent," Thompson told NBC. "It was the best gift I ever gave myself. I went into my car and screamed."
Some children were avoiding the lunch line because they were embarrassed to be seen in front of their school mates receiving the more inferior lunch, he told NBC.
"These are elementary school kids - they don't need to be worried about finances," Thompson told KPRC. "They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling."