Church picks up tab for public school lunch debts in Stratford

A church in Trumbull played Santa Claus this holiday season by paying off all of the lunch program debt at Stratford public schools.
New Life Church gave about $4,500, which means parents of more than 200 Stratford students from kindergarten through 12th grade will start the new year without a deficit on their lunch tabs.
Lead Pastor Mark Evans says he got the idea after reading an article about school lunch debt in this country. Some kids whose parents haven't paid up in full might have to get a stamp on their hand and forgo food or they're only given a cheese sandwich rather than a hot meal.
Evans wondered if that was happening in Fairfield County, so children's Pastor Andy Patton called around to local school districts. When he got to Stratford, he learned it was a problem there.
"There was like this excitement just building in them and I think that's, for us, that's just so cool when we get a chance to just make a small impact," says Patton.
The church handed over a check last Friday, which covered the tab at all Stratford elementary, middle and high schools.