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NJ church pays off student lunch debt in 5 school districts

Posted: 7:28 PM, Nov 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 19:28:28-04

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Liquid Church congregants have paid off lunch debt for thousands of local school children.

School districts in south Jersey and across the country come under fire for creating policies that would keep kids from extra-curricular activities or even prom, evoking anger and cries of ‘lunch shaming’ when kids can’t afford to pay.

Liquid Church Lead Pastor Tim Lucas said the donation was not political, simply a blessing.

“Let’s just be the body of Christ and feed kids. Amen,” preached Liquid Church Lead Pastor Tim Lucas during Sunday service on October 13. “Let’s get them lunch.”

He then announced that all offerings from that day’s mass would go straight to the cause.

“Jesus talks about putting faith into action and so we saw this as a simple way to be able to partner with school districts,” said Liquid Church Pastor Mike Leahy.

The non-denominational Christian church donated thousands of dollars to 5 New Jersey school districts where the church has campus locations, including Nutley, Parsippany, Roselle, Sayreville and Somerville.

They did not want to publicize the total donation amount but at a recent public school board meeting, Nutley School District disclosed they received $4200 to wipe away student lunch debt.

Elsewhere in the state and country lunch debt has become a hot button issue.

Cherry Hill School District in south Jersey recently announced a policy that could prevent students from attending prom if they don’t pay off their school cafeteria bill first.

“3 out of 4 school districts are reporting unpaid school lunch debt. So this was an opportunity for us to lean into that,” said Pastor Leahy. “And maybe be apart of the solution.”