Houstonian's nonprofit reduces number of students on alternative lunches

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - What Kenny Thompson has accomplished in a year is remarkable.  The Houston man was dubbed the "Lunch Angel" after Channel 2 told his story of paying nearly $500 of his own money to clear the negative lunch accounts for students who were being forced to eat alternative lunches most often consisting of cold, cheese sandwiches.

"I talked to the principal of the school and made it known that I didn't want to ever see that again," Thompson recalls.  "I wanted to make a difference, and decided to pay off the lunch balances for the kids."

Thompson's act went viral, and within days, he was receiving donations from Australia, Europe, and South America to help other kids. He soon created a nonprofit and the impact has been impressive.

"We've been in seven area districts, impacted over 150,000 students and 141 schools," says Thompson.  "Never in a million years in my wildest dreams did I think me and you would be sitting here a year later and talking about what we've accomplished."

Those seven districts have either eliminated or drastically reduced the number of students on alternative lunches.  With the help of his family and friends, Thompson's foundation also has worked with a dozen school districts nationwide to end or alter their alternative lunches.  With all he's accomplished Thompson is ready to do even more.

"There's a lot of need out there still," says Thompson. "There's kids and families that are struggling and their best shot at eating in most cases?  Right here at school."

How will Thompson celebrate the one year anniversary of his thrust into the spotlight? Thursday morning he is meeting with administrators at a local school to pay off the negative lunch balances of 104 students on their campus.

If you'd like to assist Thompson's non-profit, click here to log on to his foundation's website.

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