September 23, 2020

Alabama ministry clears students’ lunch debt

An Alabama ministry is paying the lunchroom debts of all the students in Madison city schools’ child nutrition program.

The $21,000 gift was announced recently by Madison-based Inside-Out Ministries, Al.com reported.

It clears the debt of more than 1,300 students who receive reduced-price meals in the north Alabama city school system.

“It allows the students and the schools to move forward in 2020 without concern,” said Deborah Ward, director of operations of Inside-Out Ministries. “It’s a gift of love from our board of directors to Madison city students.”

The donation is the largest one received since Madison City School was founded in 1998, said Marty Tatara, who coordinates the school system’s child nutrition program.

The school system has “always been committed to feeding all children a full meal, whether they have money or not when they come through the lunch line,” Tatara said. “Despite the financial burden, we do this because nutrition is essential for learning.”

Ward said the ministry decided to make the donation in honor of Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker. Parker recently announced he would retire in February.

Madison is a predominately affluent city of about 50,000 on Huntsville’s west side, Al.com reported.

“No matter a city’s income level, there are needs,” Ward said, “and we hope this donation brings an awareness and many offers of help.”