Secret Santa in Parchment erasing students’ lunch debt with $6K donation

PARCHMENT, Mich. — Lunch can cost up to $3.00 a day at Parchment District Schools. For some parents that’s affordable, said superintendent Matthew Miller. However for others it’s not. Missing one day's lunch can easily turn into weeks.

“Then all of sudden you’re getting into a pretty large amount of money for the parents to come up with,” said Miller during an interview at the Central Elementary school. “That’s why this is a great blessing for all.”

A Portage businessman, who has grandchildren at the schools, donated $6,000 to the district to pay off students’ lunch debt and bring them to up-to-date for January 2018, he said. Miller’s already him called Santa.

“I think he’s just a very generous man and cares for probably those that are less fortunate than he is,” said Miller. “It’s just nice to know that we have great-hearted people out there to help others.”

This is the second year in a row this has happened, he said. The man, who’s choosing to remain anonymous, donated thousands of dollars last year to clear the debt at the elementary schools. Now it’s affecting the more than 1600 students in all six of their schools, 50 percent of whom are on free or reduced lunch.

“I hope at the end of the day what the parents and students get from this is when you’re in a position to give and help others, I hope you take advantage of it,” said Miller.