Lemonade For Lunch
by Sophia Greenblatt
Amiah Van Hill, a student in second grade, opened up numerous lemonade stands in Idaho near the Coeur d’Alene Public School district in an effort to help pay off lunch debts for her classmates. Amiah’s inspiration stemmed from hearing about the crowdfunding project that Jeffrey Lew, a father of three, started in Seattle to help erase unpaid lunch debts. Jeffrey has three children, one of whom is registered in the Seattle School District. Rachel Van Hill, Amiah’s mother, explained that after reading the article about Jeffrey, Amiah expressed how inspired she was and wanted to do something similar to help her fellow students who face the difficulty of dealing with school lunch debt. “Wow, this is great! I wonder if there’s any kids at my school that need help paying their lunches,” Amiah said.
Research conducted by Amiah and her mom concluded that there was $40.55 in lunch debt at Hayden Elementary School in Idaho, where Amiah attends school. Amiah and her younger sister Aria opened up a lemonade stand with a sign that advertised her cause; “Lemonade 4 Lunch.” Amiah and Aria were able to raise the money needed to pay back the debt within an hour, and Hayden Meadows Elementary School was very grateful for their work. Lisa Pics, the school’s principal, stated how proud she was of Amiah and explained how strongly the school believes in giving back to the community. Lisa said that Amiah “is a very special little lady.”
After realizing how simple it was to reach their goal, the girls asked “why don’t we help more schools?” Amiah and Aria opened up another lemonade stand in an effort to erase lunch debt at Ramsey Magnet School of Science and Bolton Elementary, two other local schools. The girls successfully raised $300 at this lemonade stand. Knowing that they could do so much more to help their community, Amiah and Ariah decided they wanted to raise money for the whole Coeur d’Alene Public School district’s lunch debt, which totalled $23,000. With the help of their mother, they were able to raise more than $2,700 in 22 days through a GoFundMe page. We would like to recognize and applaud Amiah and Aria for all their hard work! Keep up the great work!