ROCHESTER, N.H. (NEWS CENTER) — An anonymous donor has come forward to lend a hand to schools in the city of Rochester, New Hampshire.
Her generous offer is helping support the school department's efforts to make sure no student goes hungry.
It's just before noon at the McClelland Elementary School in Rochester, and first graders file into the cafeteria for lunch. A good meal is part of the learning process. Studies by leading health organizations show students do much better in school on a full stomach rather than an empty one.
"It's so important for them to have their meals because if not, they're not concentrating and they're not learning," said Principal Michelle McAlister. "So it's very important."
No student here is denied lunch, even if they can't pay.
"It's not unusual sometimes for staff members or myself say, put that on my account because we won't let any child here go hungry," said McAlister.
For some students who do not pay, their parents will later settle up for them. But some don't or just can't.
"Some of them are taken care of, some of them aren't," the principal said. "With this anonymous donor, it's just amazing, just to do such a thing. It's so appreciated."
The donor McAlister is talking about is a woman who has offered to pick up the outstanding tab for all children who did not pay for a lunch this school year. Not just here, but at all 10 schools across the city. They believe she is the grandmother of a child who goes to school here, but they don't know her identity.
"Doesn't want to be named or anything, she did it out of the goodness of her heart," McAlister said. "Wish I knew who you were so we could give you a big hug."