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Local man sets up GoFundMe to help end growing problem of 'lunch shaming'

"Lunch shaming" is a growing problem across the country. When a student doesn't have enough lunch money, some schools give students the bare minimum or sometimes no lunch at all.

According to one report, students are racking up lunch debt in 76% of school districts nationwide.

CBS 58 spoke with a man who is making sure that no kids go without.

Steven Broeker graduated from South Milwaukee High School. Currently, he's a football coach for a South Milwaukee Middle School team.

He says that working with the kids pushed him to start the fundraiser and address a problem he was close with growing up.

"She did a lot, she would send checks to me on the regular."

Patricia Ziebart is one of the biggest inspirations for Steven Broeker, her grandson. 

He says she was generous and kind when his dad was laid off multiple times during the recession.

"It was like waves. You'd be fine for a bit and then you'd get hit. Then you'd be fine for a bit and you'd get hit. It happened throughout middle school. And then things just weren't getting better. We ended up losing our house."

"As the day would go on, you'd get closer to lunchtime and you're starting to think 'I don't know how much I can go negative before they shut it down or anything like that' so you'd start to think about that and as you're getting hungry and every now and then I'd get yelled at in class for not paying attention, but there's a lot going on in kids minds."

"I was blessed. I'm not going to lie. I had really good friends. Friends would always step in 'Hey don't worry about it. We'll pay for it. That's fine.'"

He mentions the Chapa family footing a lot of his food bills. Now he plans for his GoFundMe to do the same thing on a larger scale. Almost 100 people have donated so far and as of Wednesday night, he's close to hitting his $5,000 goal amount. That money will go to a school lunch program coordinated by district social workers.

He's working on paperwork to become a full-fledged non-profit.

"I've slowly been working so I can hopefully continue to keep doing this."

If you would like to donate, click here.


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