Zeeland business covers school lunches for district

ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — One Zeeland business is giving back to their own community by raising money to cover school lunches at Zeeland Public Schools.

Allied Business Services, an accounts receivables management firm with locations throughout the Midwest, picks a charity every couple of months to support.

From now through April employees can pay $1 to $2 to dress down in the office. They’re also donating pop cans. All of the money raised goes towards lunch accounts that have a negative balance.

In three weeks, the business has raised 900 dollars, something they hope will go beyond helping pay off accounts.

“It’s one thing to pay off the negative balance, but next week they’re in the same situation. So we’re hoping to raise enough money to carry every child through the remainder of the school year and if there’s money leftover they can add on that balance for next year as well,” Allied Business Services General Manager Jessica Lewis told 24 Hour News 8.

For students in the district on the reduced-lunch program, cheese sandwiches are given out instead of a hot lunch when the account isn’t paid off. The Zeeland schools superintendent explained that these donations go beyond giving them a hot meal: It helps students stay ready to learn.

“If the social-emotional needs are met they learn and if they’re not met, you can struggle to learn. So in this case, [Allied is] making sure that teachers have a better opportunity to do their job,” Superintendent Calvin De Kuiper told 24 Hour News 8.

Allied Business Services is hoping other Zeeland businesses will support their efforts. Lewis told 24 Hour News 8 they would like to start a raffle in the office, and hope someone will be willing to donate $10 gift cards to make sure all funds raised during the raffle can go directly to the district.