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Fundraiser to help erase school lunch debt at Kessler Elementary

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When Brandi Gorecki learned her children’s school was seeking nearly $1,000 in back-due fees for student lunches, she stepped up to the plate.

And she, along with several dozen donors, have hopefully helped to take a bite out of hunger at Kessler Elementary School.

Gorecki, 32, set up a GoFundMe page Thursday and within about two hours raised more than $1,300. She said she will pay off the $1,000 tab, and hopes to put the extra money toward school supplies and to pay for a fifth grade field trip.

“I thought it was do-able and we could crowdsource that,” she said, later adding she thought it was an easy way to make a difference other than asking people to vote.

Two of her three kids attend Kessler Elementary. She and husband Matt have a baby on the way.

The site is listed under Matt’s name. As of Friday afternoon, 44 people had donated $1,353.

Kessler school and district officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Brandi Gorecki said she would leave the page up until Monday.

She said school lunches have been free since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She said the debt had been incurred prior to the pandemic.

Gorecki said there was a time she was living at a much lower income than she is now. She said debt “is such a huge weight to carry around.”

Gorecki said she is hopeful that people will see how easy it was to set up the GoFundMe site and ask for help. And it has helped with her faith in people’s generosity.

“I don’t have to tell you the past two years has been rough and a constant stream of bad luck,” she said. But she noted people have been donating from out of state “with no skin in the game.”

“It’s been great for my mental health,” she said.

Check out the page at https://bit.ly/3nnvzV0.

Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

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