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Paying it forward: Fredonia man donates $2,000 to pay off school lunch debt

The donation will help 140 families
Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 13, 2020

FREDONIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — 140 Fredonia Central School District families are lunch debt-free thanks to a donation from a community member at last week's school board meeting.

A donation of $2,000 from Pravin Patel will cover all unpaid lunch balances. He wanted to give back to his community and give families a clean slate to start 2020.

"I'm not running for any office, just a gesture [to] make sure kids are fed," said Patel.

If students don't have cash at lunchtime, they're still fed, they just have a balance until it's paid off. 10% of families in the district had an unpaid balance.

Patel owns a Best Western Hotel on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk and is a friend of the district. Two of his children are graduates of Fredonia High School. He also wanted to make the donation to celebrate his granddaughter, Alina Chhabria, on her first birthday.

"I'm humbled by his kindness and so appreciative on behalf of our students and our families, he's a role model for others," said Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio.

Patel hopes those that see this continue to pay it forward.