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Boy, mom pack extra school lunches for classmate without food

Posted October 23

A formerly-homeless New Mexico boy has touched the hearts of thousands simply by bringing an extra lunch to school every day. (Deseret Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A formerly homeless New Mexico boy has touched the hearts of thousands simply by bringing an extra lunch to school every day.

That second sandwich, drink, yogurt and bag of chips may not seem like much, but they’ve been feeding a classmate who had previously been going hungry.

When Dylan Duran sat down in the cafeteria each lunch period this year, he began to notice another kid sitting alone with little to no food in front of him, according to KOAT News. After noticing the boy several times, he decided he wanted to do something to help.

So he went home and asked his mom, Josette Duran, if she wouldn’t mind packing him two lunches instead of just one. Duran told KOAT she assumed Dylan was still hungry and wanted more food for himself, so she was shocked and touched when he added an explanation for his request.

“He said, ‘No, mom, it’s for this little boy at school. He sits by himself and all he eats is a fruit cup,’” Duran said.

Duran gladly fulfilled Dylan’s request — having once known all too well what it felt like to lack the resources necessary to provide for her son.

“This hits home to me because a few years ago, me and my son were homeless,” Duran told KOAT. “I was living in my car; I was washing him in bathrooms, and we didn’t have food.”

So every day since, Duran has packed two lunches to send to school with Dylan. She’ll even leave a note for both boys, wishing them a great day.

The boy’s mom, who was unable to pay for school lunches after losing her job, caught wind of what the Durans were doing for her boy and reached out to Duran, expressing her gratitude and offering to repay her for the lunches.

“She says, ‘Um, I know this isn’t much, but I just got a job and I know you’ve been feeding my son,’” Duran said in a viral Facebook Live post. While Duran refused to take any money, she wholeheartedly accepted the mother’s gratitude.

The goodness hasn’t stopped with the lunches. Duran coaches a local volleyball team, which raised about $400 to compensate her for all the extra food she’s been purchasing. But Duran turned that money down as well, opting instead to donate it to the school cafeteria — paying off balances of kids who haven’t been able to cover their tabs, KTLA reported.

“Now no one in that school owes any lunch money to anybody, and everybody can eat,” she said.

As the story has spread across the country, even the globe, Duran says she’s not entirely comfortable with all the attention.

“I don’t think I did anything special,” she said in a Facebook video. “I just did what a human being is supposed to do.”

Duran gives all the credit to her son, who formulated the plan in the first place.

“I’m so proud of my son’s heart,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “He’s so kind.”

Through her Facebook page, Duran is encouraging her newfound friends and fans to go to their local schools and give what they can to make sure no child goes without food at lunchtime.

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.

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