Central Austin church pays off all AISD school lunch debt for 2022-2023

Paying somebody else’s debt - it’s a Christian concept that a Central Austin church is putting into practice. 

Covenant Presbyterian Church is paying off all remaining school lunch debt within AISD for the 2022-2023 school year.

The church will be spending just over $14,000 to erase all lunch debt accrued this school year along with an additional $10,000 to put toward any future lunch debt in the remaining months.

"Our hope is that this act that Covenant is doing would be a reminder that the church is supposed to give extravagantly, a reminder that God loves and cares for those in need and that God loves and seeks justice and mercy," said Whitney Bell, director of Mission at Covenant Presbyterian Church. "And so we want to be an expression of that to our whole city of the depths of the love of Jesus." 

Students fall into one of three categories when it comes to meals: free, reduced price or full price.

Federal pandemic-related waivers that allowed districts to provide free meals for all students expired at the end of the 2021-22 school year.


After students use up all the funds in their meal accounts, families incur the debt for the first two or three meals that a student charges to their account, according to a spokesperson for AISD’s Food Service office. Once that has occurred, AISD does not continue to charge the account but provides courtesy meals - paid for by the district. 

Funds received through community donors are used to clear out the balances that students have accrued from those two or three meals charged to the account. 

To see if your child qualifies for free or reduced-price school meals, click here.