AUSTIN, Minn- One local business is paying off a huge debt.
Staff at Overby Orthodontics wanted their community project to impact students.
Tuesday they donated a check for roughly $12,000 to pay for student lunch debt in the Austin School District.
Marion Johnson has nine kids and nearly all of them attend school in the Austin School District. The donation has left her speechless.
“I want to cry,” Johnson said.
For the most part, her kids are able to eat through the free lunch program but she's not immune to receiving a surprise lunch bill from time to time.
"I have one daughter who will charge items and doesn’t tell me,” Johnson said. “Then I get notified months later."
The largest bill she has received is $60. She says when you live on a budget that's just too much.
Thanks to Overby Orthodontics moms like Johnson can now focus on their child's education and not their debt.
Mary Weikham is the director of food and nutrition service for the district and shares how this donation came about.
"Overby Orthodontics called us and were interested in paying off all of our negative school lunch debt,” Weikham said. “So some of that could be kids that owe two dollars and it could be an account that's a hundred dollars negative and they have volunteered to donate this money to offset all of those debts."
Taylor Bliese is a working mom herself she can relate. This is why she chose this donation as Overby Orthodontic's company outreach project.
"It can be a struggle for families so I think to pay off this debt will help,” Bliese said.
Weikham said if this donation was not made the Austin School District would have been left with the bill.