A local brewery is ensuring that a northern Michigan school district starts the new year with no student lunch debt.
A foundation affiliated with The Mitten Brewing Co., which has a location Up North in Northport, paid $2,700 to erase unpaid meals and snacks in the Suttons Bay district, near Traverse City.
Superintendent Mike Carmean said, "We're just very blessed." He told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that some students were nearing $100 in lunch debt.
Chris Andrus, an owner of Mitten Brewing, responded after one of his bartenders in Northport, Joe Symons, criticized a Pennsylvania school district for threatening parents over lunch debts. Symons is also a substitute teacher in Suttons Bay.
Dan Frank, general manager of Mitten Brewing in Northport, said "one of the beauties" of being in a small community is acting on local needs.
The brewery also has locations in Grand Rapids and Saugatuck.