9-Year-Old California Boy Pays Students’ Lunch Debt

A nine-year-old boy from Napa, California decided to do something a little different with his allowance. After seeing a story about a classmate who returned her lunch after not having enough money to pay for it, Ryan Kyote had an idea.

Ryan Kyote, Napa

The third graders spent his allowance to cover the entire class’ lunch debt, according to his mom in an interview with NBC.

Kylie Kirkpatrick (mom, left) and Ryan Kyote (right)

“Ryan was outraged. He said, ‘Mom, how does something like this happen?’ Then he asked what he could do to help.”

The students’ debt came to $74.50, which is about the equivalent of some new clothes or a couple pairs of shoes, and Ryan decided this was a better way to spend his money.

A law from 2017 in California requires schools do not deny a student lunch regardless of their balance. Some students struggle to keep up with increasing lunch prices.

Many agree that a school lunch debt should not exist for one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet it remains an issue for many students across the country.

Ryan Kyote

Kylie’s story made headlines after Bernie Sanders responded to the news in a tweet on Monday. Roughly 30 million students in over 100,000 schools across the United States are provided with lunch under the Federal National School Lunch Program.

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