WOODLAND (CBS13) — A Woodland DJ is spinning tracks to raise money to help the Woodland Joint Unified School District with its debt.
The district has accumulated about $20,000 in unpaid school lunches, and now, Ricardo Preciado is lending his helping hand.
Helping kids is one of Ricardo Preciado’s many passions.
He was at the Thirsty Goat in Woodland this past weekend, using his musical talent to help the district pay its school debt bill.
“I wanted to do something to make a difference and help these families,” said Preciado.
He recently learned of the lunch debt and wanted to pitch in.
Preciado held a fundraiser over the weekend with hopes of lowering the debt of nearly $20,000.
“Whatever I got paid for DJ’ing that night it all went towards that,” Preciado said.
The fundraiser drew a crowd to the Thirsty Goat but didn’t put a big dent in the debt — a disappointment to Preciado.
“All in all, we raised over $1,000 which is a really great start,” Preciado added.
“We expect or know there’s going to be some debt obviously it would be great if it was zero,” said Callie Lutz, a spokeswoman for the district.
She says the debt has been adding up for several years. This year, Lutz says the district’s food budget is about $4.5 million.
“We don’t let that debt affect what the outcome is or what the students receive at breakfast and lunch,” she added.
Lutz says the district could enhance its lunch program with the debt money if the debt was paid off, but because of federal and state laws, it can’t penalize parents for not paying.
Some parents are grateful for Preciado’s efforts.
“Any benefits that help kids just like my son who needs help is wonderful,” said one mom who has a hard time affording her son’s school lunches.
Preciado says his soft spot for kids is why he’s pushing so hard to end the lunch debt.
“If we could do this, then we could do a whole lot more and make Woodland a better city,” Preciado said.
Preciado is holding another fundraising event on Friday at the Thirsty Goat; he says he won’t stop until he wipes away the district’s lunch debt.
Lutz says the lunch debt stems from parents not being able to afford their kids’ lunches, whether they are low income or lost their job.