photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

You’ve heard of student loan debt. But student lunch debt? Yep. It’ a real thing. And it’s devastating for some children and their families. Imagine that you’re a child and you get turned down by the cafeteria staff when you try to buy a sandwich, mac and cheese or a milk. Well, when kids have lunch debt that’s what can happen. It’s embarrassing and it’s unhealthy. So what can be done to banish student lunch debt? These two dads are trying to raise money to help students in the state of Washington.

Dads Jeff Lew and Stephen Medawar partnered up to help erase lunch debt for children in Washington state. After Lew started a Go Fund Me campaign trying to help students in a few Washington state districts, he got the attention of friend (and fellow dad) Medawar. The two joined forced and created and set out to raise even more money — and help even more students.

After reports surfaced across the country of public shaming (having to wear wristbands or work off lunch debt), Lew knew he had to do something. When this dad saw an interview with Chris Robinson of Texas, who helped to fundraise away lunch debt in his area, Lew decided to do something similar for his community. At the time, Lew’s son’s elementary school had a grand total of $97.10 in unpaid lunch debt. The dad set up a Go Fund Me campaign and reached his goal quickly. He then moved on to the entire Seattle school district. This time the debt was much more — $20,531.79.

After getting some media buzz, the campaign began making major gains (also in part to a generous donation by musician John legend). Lew was able to pay off the lunch debt and move onto new area districts.

Lew and Medawar are now trying to raise $650,000 to take care of the entire state’s lunch debt through a Go Fund Me campaign. Whoa! These are some pretty impressive dads.

What do you think of student lunch debt shaming? Share your thoughts in the comments below.