Teen raises over $10K to pay off other students' debt, combat 'lunch shaming'

SUMMIT, N.J. — A New Jersey high school student has raised thousands of dollars to pay off the lunch debts of students at other schools after she says she was disturbed by the so-called "lunch shaming" she saw at her previous school, according to the Jersey Journal.

"Students are put to work. So they have to clean tables and mop the floors to pay for their lunch,” 16-year-old Keertana Talla, who now attends Kent Place School in New Jersey, told WPIX. Talla started a fundraising campaign to raise awareness about school lunch shaming. "There is no need to embarrass kids in public. It’s not their fault."

WPIX interviewed Talla last year when she was just getting started. She’s since exceeded her fundraising goal.

On Thursday night, she donated $10,000 to Englewood Public Schools to pay off students' lunch debts.

Talla is now looking for other schools to make donations to and she is expanding her efforts. She has started an organization for other students to join.

She said she wants to "raise awareness" so other students can create their own campaigns to raise money for classmates in their own districts.

You can find out more at www.lunchcrisis.org.