“I thought best case scenario, we maybe get a couple of hundred bucks and be able to help a couple of students, and even that would have been awesome,” Jones told Good Morning America.
About 1.5 million students in the U.S. can’t afford their lunches, and their “meal debt” totals about $262 million a year, according to Education Data.
“I think the fear of hearing you have a balance ... that is just terrifying for a middle schooler,” Jones, who teaches at Rocky Mountain Middle School, explained to Good Morning America.
According to the Feeding America organization, one in five food-insecure children live in a home that is ineligible for free or reduced lunches.
Jones, who goes by @cgj205 on TikTok, uses his platform to share his life as a teacher, with posts about games and videos of his students making fun of a new haircut.
“On a higher level, we can reach out to our representatives and say, ‘Hey, we support this. This is a good use of our tax dollars. We should feed our students and make sure at the very least when they’re going into school … we can guarantee that they had a good meal.”