Sioux City small business owner aiming to eliminate student lunch debt for holiday season

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – A Sioux City woman and her business are on a mission this holiday season: to eliminate the lunch debt of every Sioux City Community School District student.

When Stephanie Hageman, owner of My Tri Guy, mentioned that it’s easy to pick out students who owe lunch, she says it was her daughter who really reinforced the idea.

With five children, Hageman said she’s had experience paying for school lunches, both when she struggled financially and now she’s in a better place. And Hageman to KTIV: It’s time to cancel the debt.

According to the district, the total student lunch debt is more than $59,000.

When Hageman called the district, an official told her that only nine schools owed money because the other students still received free lunches for everyone. She said that number shocked her.

Everyone knows the kids who can’t buy their lunch because they get a small paper bag. I said ‘O’ to him, thus breaking our hearts. So, ‘Hey, you all want to hang out with us?’ We began to connect with friends who had small businesses.

A district spokeswoman said the district cannot comment on specific fundraisers, although the district encourages more families to sign up for free or reduced-price lunch. The district believes many families may qualify for free or reduced lunch, but have not applied.

Go to donate GoFundMe It also includes other donation options.

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