Family donates $10K to help feed Elmore County students

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 9:12 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:17 PM CST
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COOSADA, Ala. (WSFA) - For students at Airport Road Intermediate School, lunchtime can be an escape from the classroom. It is a time to cut up and eat with friends, but for some students it is their only meal of the day.

“We feel very confident that there are many of our students that this is the primary source of nourishment they receive,” said Cacyce Davis, the child nutrition director for Elmore County Schools.

Around 61% of students at the school rely on free or reduced lunches, and school officials say inflated grocery costs have made it even harder on families.

“Just to buy eggs parents have to consider how much is in their budget to be able to do those types of things,” Davis said.

That is why Elmore County Schools had about $3,000 in meal debt. When students cannot afford a lunch, the school system takes on the cost.

It is a challenge, especially now that the federal government is no longer offering COVID-19 assistance to pay for meals.

After hearing about the problem, Nancy Kocan stepped in. She asked her husband to donate to the school system for her birthday.

The couple gave $10,000 to pay off the meal debt. She got emotional Monday as students thanked her inside the school.

“It’s sad when you think of families who are trying to just keep a roof over their child’s head, keep them fed and keep them clothed, and then to add a bill on to that is really difficult,” Kocan said.

Included in the donation, the family is also paying for all of Airport Road Intermediate School’s lunches for January and February.

“I just think it’s something to really get into community and make them aware,” Kocan said.

She urged other individuals or companies to consider making donations.

While some school systems, like Montgomery Public Schools, receive grants for all students to eat for free, others do not.

The public can always call their local school system to see if they need help with their child nutrition program.

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