“We do not do anything to an individual student if they have an IOU,” said Jason Woebkenberg with EVSC.

At the end of each school year, EVSC left with thousands of dollars in unpaid lunch balances.

“Students of course, we don’t want to embarrass them. We don’t want to punish them so to speak. So when a student has an IOU we have steps in place so we can reach out to the family,” said Woebkenberg.

The 2016-17 balance, more than $18,000.

One couple impacted after seeing that number.

“She said go pay them off Monday morning, so that’s what I did,” said Richard Johnson, Vanderburgh Juvenile Court.

Julia, his wife, saw a list of schools with unpaid lunch balances and wanted to do something about it.

Richard works with AIS, a school on the list twice for its two campuses on Diamond and First.
“I came in, went up to Stephanie inside and told her I needed to give her some money,” said Richard.

Having no idea who or how many students the gesture would affect.

“All I know is my wife and I decided to pay off the debt from last year and give everyone a clean slate to start this year with,” said Johnson.

The principal giving him a big hug saying, ”You don’t know how this is impacting the kids cause they don’t have to worry about the bills anymore.”

“I try to pay it forward, that’s basically it,” said Richard.

Hoping that the students he helped, one day give back as well.

“When they grow up they’ll have the same opportunities,” said Richard.

EVSC finding out another donor will be adopting an elementary school. Paying off lunch balances as they occur throughout the year.

“We’re so blessed to live in such a generous community,” said Woebkenberg.

School Unpaid Balances from 2016-2017*

Tekoppel $925.09
Harper $873.45
Lodge $803.20
North $789.94
Scott $777.06
Stockwell $726.92
Washington $720.34
North JH $686.07
Hebron $684.73
Fairlawn $680.40
Delaware $651.82
Bosse $647.98
Harrison $634.62
Reitz $622.45
Dexter $555.24
West Terrace $545.96
Highland $542.30
Thompkins $500.85
AIS First $476.62
Helfrich Park $474.33
Plaza Park $460.25
Vogel $433.93
Oak HIll $425.48
McGary $372.90
Cynthia Heights $371.54
Perry Heights $330.95
Caze $330.20
Glenwood $319.82
CentralHarrison $306.90
Daniel Wertz $291.35
Evans $263.49
New Tech $246.20
Lincoln $194.05
Cedar Hall $187.05
AIS Diamond $152.55
Culver $57.35
Stringtown $47.63

(This article was originally published August 15, 2017)