After 89 Kids Couldn't Pay Their Lunch Fees, This Small Town Superhero Stepped In To Save The Day — And The Rest of The School Year

"I hope it inspires good will towards your fellow man... Everybody should help one another and make it a kinder world."


With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget how kind people can be. But the children at Grimes Elementary School in Burlington, Iowa, just got a vivid reminder.

When  Jerry Fenton learned that 89 children at the elementary school had overdue lunch fees, he donated a total of $700 to the school's lunch program, covering the overdue fees and providing future meals for any child who needs them. "We are in Iowa, the bread basket of the world, and for us to have children in our own backyard going hungry or being denied a full meal, that's just unfathomable," Fenton told A Plus. "We should be able to take care of our next generation, growing up and feeding the minds not only with education but with food." 

That same day, October 18, Fenton wrote a Facebook post about the experience, though with the single intention of promoting the cause, not himself. "Trust me, I didn't do this for the attention. I did it because I wanted to help, just simple as that," he explained. "I never thought that it was something so special, you know, to do for your fellow man." 

Fenton never expected his story to garner so much interest, with more than 3,000 likes and shares, but he's certainly happy it has.

"I hope it inspires goodwill towards your fellow man, especially in this day and age," he added. "Back when I was growing up, there were always acts of kindness being done ... and I'd like for all of us to get back to helping each other every day. It's not about the money ... it could be as simple as raking leaves or mowing grass for the elderly or running errands for [people with disabilities]. What a better world it'd be if we all did things like this." 

Though he'd probably never admit it, Fenton's proven a "better world" is within our reach. At the very least, he's done his part — and then some — to better the community of Burlington. After the local newspaper and radio station reported his story, more donors "have come through and picked up lunch tabs in other schools throughout town," according to Fenton.

As Fenton and his fellow donors have shown, it doesn't take a superhero to save the day.

"Everybody should help one another and make it a kinder world," he believes, not realizing that — because of him — it already is.

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