'Tears of joy': Food service director responds to business owner - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'Tears of joy': Food service director responds to business owner paying school lunch charges

A good deed by business owners in Lee County garnered attention on social media this week. (Source: WALB) A good deed by business owners in Lee County garnered attention on social media this week. (Source: WALB)
The Stricklands paid off thousands of dollars of unpaid school lunches for the entire district. (Source: WALB) The Stricklands paid off thousands of dollars of unpaid school lunches for the entire district. (Source: WALB)
The Stricklands paid for $6,500 in lunch charges. (Source: WALB) The Stricklands paid for $6,500 in lunch charges. (Source: WALB)
"When you're a single mom or a single dad," Michael explained, "it's tough to be able to afford that." (Source: WALB) "When you're a single mom or a single dad," Michael explained, "it's tough to be able to afford that." (Source: WALB)
"We shed some tears of joy," said Regina Dunn, Lee County's Food Service Director. (Source: WALB) "We shed some tears of joy," said Regina Dunn, Lee County's Food Service Director. (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

A good deed by business owners in Lee County garnered attention on social media this week.

Michael and Sarah Strickland, who own S&S Roofing and Construction in Leesburg, paid off thousands of dollars worth of unpaid school lunches for the entire district.

"I'll be honest," said Lee County's Food Service Director Regina Dunn. "We shed some tears of joy."

The Food Service Department received the Stricklands' donation Tuesday. Dunn said that was perfect timing.

"This time of year, we don't see as much lunch money coming in because it is Christmas time," Dunn explained.

The Stricklands said they wanted to do something good for the community that's helped them succeed, and that opportunity came in the form of helping parents who can't afford to pay for their children's lunches.

READ MORE: South GA business owner pays off lunch charges for entire school system

At first, they wanted to pay off all unpaid lunches this year for the students at the two schools their children attend.

"I said, 'Find out those schools first, just how much the amount would be,'" said Michael.

However, the cost of those unpaid lunches for just those two schools wasn't enough for this couple. So, they paid off all Lee County schools unpaid lunches up until now.

That total amount came to $6,500, or at least 3,000 lunches costing either $1.95 for elementary and primary school students and $2.20 for middle and high school students.

"When you're a single mom or a single dad, it's tough to be able to afford that," Michael explained.

Knowing that, the Stricklands said it was a no-brainer to cut that check.

"Instantaneously, we knew that no matter what, we were going to give back," said Sarah.

Dunn said she believes this act of kindness may encourage others to remember the less-fortunate this time of year.

"I hope it would encourage someone to pay it forward," said Dunn, who described this act of kindness as an early Christmas present for parents and students in Lee County.

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