According to multiple Florida news stations, the student’s mother said her sophomore daughter came up 15 cents short while checking out on the first day of school.
“She puts her food on the tray, gets to the front, gives her number to the cashier, and she says, ‘Well, you owe 15 cents,’” mom Kimberly Aiken told ClickOrlando.com. “My daughter said she didn't have any money, so the cashier took her food.”
Aiken said she had signed up for the free- and reduced-cost lunch program, which hadn’t taken effect yet.
“The school is always willing to work with students and families as needed,” Volusia County Public Schools spokesman Roger Edgcomb said in a statement to Orlando, Florida media. “The school will be contacting the family directly to help resolve this issue.”
When she showed up to pay for her meal on Wednesday — with money to make up for any account shortages — the sophomore’s meal had been taken care of.
The Atlanta rapper read about the incident after Morehouse College graduate and activist Shaun King shared the news on Instagram on Aug. 19.
“I’d like to take care of her school lunch for the year. I hate to hear this type of thing happening to our children,” the rapper wrote on Twitter. Such situations, he said, deter kids from coming to school.
According to Aiken, T.I. kept his word. She also created a separate GoFundMe for students and families who can’t afford school lunch.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.