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401770 02: First-grader Brendan Eckenrode uses the fingerprint scanner to pay for lunch at Penn Cambria Pre-Primary School March 1, 2002 in Cresson, Pa. Penn Cambria is one of three school districts utilizing a biometric program from Food Service Solutions, in Altoona, PA that enables students to buy their lunch with their scanned fingerprints. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

A 9-year-old Californian boy wanted his fellow third-grade classmates “to feel happy to know someone cares about them” and paid off his entire class’ school lunch debt with his allowance money.  After learning what “school lunch debt” was, Ryan Kirkpatrick asked his mom to find out how much his classmates owed and then took his allowance money – $74.50 – to pay off the debt.

He asked the school to tell the kids that they didn’t owe the school any more money.

Kirkpatrick donated the money anonymously until the school’s story went viral.  He became upset when people used the story to highlight the problem with children having “debt” from school meals.  He said he didn’t want to brag about the donation.

Kirkpatrick’s family is now campaigning for all students to receive their school meals for free.