2 students in North Carolina are trying to pay off their school district's $41,000 lunch debt with a lemonade stand

WSOC-TVSisters Hailey, 13, and Hannah Hager, 11, with their lemonade stand.
  • Sisters Hailey, 13, and Hannah Hager, 11, are raising money for Davidson County Schools in North Carolina.
  • The sisters chose the cause after learning the district has $US41,000 in student lunch debt.
  • The girls have have already raised more than $US1,900 since launching their stand.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Two sisters in North Carolina are trying to pay off their school district’s $US41,000 student lunch debt by launching a lemonade stand.

Sisters Hailey, 13, and Hannah Hager, 11, have already raised more than $US1,500 for Davidson County Schools, their mother, Erin Hager, told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Hager said the girls initially wanted to raise money for their grandfather’s hospice center, but changed their cause after learning about lunch debt.

She said that Hannah’s school, Southwood Elementary, owes the federal government $US3,100 in cafeteria charges. Hailey’s school, Central Davidson Middle School, owes $US3,500, and the entire district of 36 schools owes $US41,000 in total, Hager said.

Hager told WSOC-TV that the debt is racked up when students can’t afford to pay for their lunches. Instead of not feeding the children, the school district incurs the charges for the lunches that lead to a debt.

“There’s one family that owes $US800,” she said. “I don’t know how many years worth that is, but it’s a big deal.”

Read more:
The school district where a cafeteria worker was fired for giving a student free food has rescinded its demand that she be rehired

Hager’s daughters have launched a Facebook campaign, and are trying to raise as much money as they can by selling lemonade, as well as snacks at their stand.

She said people have donated cups, and friends joined in to help run the lemonade stand and raise funds.

Southwood Elementary School Principal Ashley Lemley said it’s not difficult to go into debt when helping students pay for lunch.

“We do not believe in giving students an alternative lunch; therefore, they are allowed to continue to charge. This can lead to to charges getting quite high,” Lemley says. “I could not be more proud of Hannah and Hailey for wanting to help others. They are truly amazing students who are going to continue to do great things in our community. They are showing initiative, kindness and empathy toward others.”

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