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AMBRIDGE (KDKA) — For the kids who eat in the Ambridge School District cafeterias, a grand Christmas gesture is making lunch easier to swallow.

“A miracle happened a day apart,” Janet Gaffney, Ambridge schools food service director, said. “One day apart, two separate phone calls and [they] offered to pay off some balances.”

The Ambridge School District food service was running about a $3,000 until Steve Yurkovac came along.

“I’m just a yinzer, trying to give back to the community,” he said.

Yurkovac heard about someone paying off the cafeteria debt in another school district, so he decided to do the same. Coincidentally, his brother-in-law came up with the same idea. Between the two of them, they paid about $1,500.

“He heard a story of somebody doing something similar with lunches at another school somewhere and that’s how he got the idea,” Yurkovac said. “He called on the same day as I did.”

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For the lady who runs the cafeteria, it was a great holiday gesture.

“In the spirit of the season, it just seems like it’s so timely, but I’ve never experienced anything like this in the 25 years I’ve been here,” Gaffney said.

The school serves up a breakfast for about $1.50 and lunch for $2.50, but even at those prices, some kids just can’t come up with the money.

Yurkovac and his wife, Tina, can relate. There were days when they were in school and they couldn’t pay for lunch.

“We both were on free and reduced lunch at one time during our time at school, so this kind of fit in with — I know how that feels and try to help the needy community,” Yurkovac said.

The school lunch program is still $1,500 in the hole. They’re hoping the spirit of the season may bring more generous donors.

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