Teacher Pays Off Student Lunch Debt With the Help of TikTok

One middle-school teacher from Utah has managed to raise more than $30,000 to pay off student lunch debt. And he did that with the help of TikTok.

Garrett Jones, who works at the Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber City, uploaded a short clip on his TikTok profile a few weeks ago in which he asked his followers to consider donating $1 in favor of settling the “outstanding lunch fees of every student in my middle school”.

The video quickly turned viral, generating more than five million views, while his Venmo account saw $2,000 in donations in just 24 hours.


Kids can’t learn if they’re hungry and don’t deserve to be handed a bill for lunch at a place they have to be. School lunch should be free. #teachersoftiktok #teacher #schoollunch #middleschool #elementaryschool #highschool

♬ I hope yall are making some money – cash.bets

His campaign continued to pick up steam in the following days. The number of views continued to rise, with the donated amount exceeding $30,000 after a week.

“I was blown away,” Jones said when reached out to by USA TODAY. “I was literally expecting, best-case scenario, maybe we’d get a couple hundred bucks.”

Since the student lunch debt in his school was around $8,000, Jones decided to extend the campaign to the whole Wasatch County School District. He will distribute the funds to other schools in order to help students there to get free meals and be able to focus only on studying and getting good grades.


Update Number 5! 99% of what I said didn’t make the story and I’m bummed because you guys deserve all the credit. I’m so glad my district is stepping up with a legitimate accounting of the money so that I can be transparent with you all. This week was amazing. People are so good. ❤️ #UnlimitedHPInk #teachersoftiktok #teacher #giving #schoollunch #middleschool #highschool

♬ dance(256762) – TimTaj