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Grant and Kris Hoxie, right, owners of Mr. Hoxie’s Garage in Suttons Bay present a check of $2,033.99 to Suttons Bay Superintendent Casey Petz to pay off student lunch debts.

SUTTONS BAY — Grant and Kris Hoxie wanted families and students in the Suttons Bay community to have one less worry this year.

The two owners of Mr. Hoxie’s Garage delivered a check for $2,033.99 to Suttons Bay Public Schools to take care of unpaid student lunch debts for elementary, middle school and high school as a way to commemorate five years in business.

“We know what a trying year this has been for so many, especially for the kids, so we wanted to find a way to help relieve some of the stress that comes with attending school on a daily basis,” said Grant Hoxie, owner of Mr. Hoxie’s Garage in a press statement.

Casey Petz, superintendent of Suttons Bay Public Schools, said the district was so grateful for Hoxie’s donation.

“We all need a break right now and this generous gesture will certainly help us to spread some joy to Suttons Bay families this year,” Petz said.

Kris Hoxie, who also works as the development coordinator for Bigs Up North, said the business usually supports the arts and athletics programs throughout the year, but most had shows or season’s canceled because of COVID-19.

At the same time, the two wanted to help parents struggling financially because of the financial impacts of the pandemic.

Kris also said there’s more work to come to make student lunch debts less of an issue going forward.

“We’ve already talked to some business owners about making a five-year pledge so it is never a debt,” Kris said.

“You think about some of these households that might have multiple children in the school system, it becomes a situation where there is just a looming payment. In everything else, this would take a basic need expense away from them.”

In theory, Kris said business owners would fund an account that would act as a safety net to pay a student’s lunch if they need it. Multiple local businesses along with Petz have already expressed their full support of the Hoxie’s idea.

“It was really important to us not just to make a one-time donation, in this sense or this kind of impact, but to be able to have a future solution,” Kris said.

Follow Andrew Rosenthal on Twitter @ByAndrewR

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