Valley dads fund raise for lunch money so no student feels singled out

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Kids who don't get free or reduced-price lunches at school rely on food from home, or lunch money. But what if they don't get that, either? After seeing a news story about "lunch shaming," two Valley dads decided to do something about it.

"I have two kids of my own, so I can't imagine having my kids come home with a lunch stamp saying lunch money," said Raul Ramirez. He said that's what inspired him and Omar Lopez to make a difference. They say at some schools, if kids don't have enough lunch money, they'll stick out.

"In some cases, they won't get that hot lunch they'll get a sack lunch, so they'll still get fed, but it's not a normal meal the rest of the kids will get," Ramirez said.

"Not all kids qualify for that so there are still some kids that slip through the cracks," Ramirez added.

Ramirez and Lopez set up a GoFundMe page to create a special fund for those kids. They chose the Alhambra Elementary School District, whose lunch policies we are not aware of, because Lopez went there.

"They were saying it was the first time anyone thought of doing that with them or wanting to give back in that way," Lopez said.

"Whenever they don't have enough money, they're going to use these funds and disperse it among those kids who don't have money in their accounts," Ramirez said.

So far, they've raised more than $4500 and their goal is $10,000.

"We really don't know what people's situations are when you're at home," Ramirez said.

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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