United Way of Abilene donates more than $19k to settle lunch debts in 6 school districts

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The United Way of Abilene donated more than $19,000 Tuesday to help settle student lunch balances in six school districts.

The donation helps 925 families settle any school lunch debts before the summer break.

Leaders at the United Way say they felt that with the extensive job losses due to COVID-19 and the cost of home repairs from the winter storm, this is a good way to take care of any families that may be struggling before the summer break.

School districts that received help include Abilene, Wylie, Trent, Merkel, Jim Ned, and Baird.

The official news release from United Way reads as follows:

“United Way of Abilene will pay off student lunch debt for the 2020-21 school year for Abilene ISD, Wylie ISD, Jim Ned ISD, Merkel ISD, Baird ISD, and Trent ISD. The total cost is $19,227. 

“Helping our community is a team effort. It’s been a challenging year for families with the February storm and ongoing pandemic challenges. Thank you to our donors for their assistance for children and families during a difficult year,” stated Dr. Cathy Ashby, President & CEO of United Way of Abilene. 

In addition to paying off school lunch balances, the United Way has provided assistance:

  • 260,800 meals were given out through the food bank and pantries 
  • 364 families with lost wages received help paying rent 
  • 106,704 hours of childcare were provided to children of essential workers
  • 20,000 free masks were distributed to the community 
  • 73 students in quarantine in Wylie and AISD received free internet access
  • 1,500 thermometers were distributed to families of elementary students in Wylie and AISD 
  • 610 virtual court hearings were provided for children in foster care
  • 836 remote counseling sessions were delivered for victims and family members of violent crimes
  • 4,890 meals were prepared for our homeless neighbors
  • 500 grocery store gift cards were distributed to help people recover from the 2021 Winter Storm
  • 62 families received plumbing assistance to replaces damaged pipes from the 2021 Winter Storm”

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