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Flathead group helps pay off student's school lunch debt

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 16:33:52-04

KALISPELL — A Flathead organization that works to end school lunch debt has paid off the debt for 18 school districts in the valley.

Gap Fillers Flathead -- which is entirely funded through community donations -- was started last year by a group of friends who wanted to ensure every student received a school lunch.

Founder Tammi Fisher pointed out that many times families can't afford their child's lunch which leaves them hungry, or forces them into lunch debt. Fisher, who says many schools can't afford to pay off that accrued lunch debt, told MTN News that Gap Fillers Flathead has been able to pay off lunch debt for 18 out of the 24 school districts in the valley.

"You know, they only accrued about $750. But for a school that's on a shoestring budget, it may [as well] have been $750,000," Fisher said of the debt at Marion School. “It was really awesome. You can tell that every time we encounter educators and administrators at these small school districts in particular -- how much they love all the kids that go there, and how appreciative they are."

Fisher says the next step for Gap Fillers Flathead is to provide care packages for students over the summer when they no longer have access to lunches at school.

If you're interested in donating to Gap Fillers please visit their website.