Sunday, July 1st 2018
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A man who once couldn’t afford to pay for lunch growing up in school is now a successful business owner who is giving back to his community in a special way.
Chris Lang said he often went hungry when he couldn’t afford to pay for lunch in school.
Now the founder and owner of Organ Mountain Outfitters in Las Cruces, Lang has donated more than $35,000 and had paid off the debt for reduced lunches in the Las Cruces Public School District.
“I grew up in extreme poverty; we didn’t have running water, we didn’t have electricity growing up and so I understand the hardships that some people in our community go through,” Lang said.
It began in 2016 when Lang started his business from his garage.
Even then, he knew he wanted to give back to his community.
“We wanted to build a brand to bring our community together and also give back at the same time,” Lang said.
That is why Lang started a program that would pick up the tab on the reduced lunch program in local schools.
For every purchase made at Organ Mountain Outfitters, Lang donates a week's worth of lunch for students in the district.
No longer working from his garage, Lang now has his own store in downtown Las Cruces.
Now, he said he’s going to implement the idea in other school districts in both Albuquerque and El Paso.
“Myself and my family went through that same circumstance and for us, it’s just about being a blessing and providing an opportunity (so) ... parents don’t have to worry about that for their children,” Lang said.
Lang has donated more than 87,500 lunches since opening his business in 2016.
Students in the Las Cruces Public School District commented on the impact it has on them and others in the district.
“Sometimes I don’t eat at school and so I would be just real happy that there’s some backup for me there just in case I get hungry,” Mayfield freshman Annika Aragon said.
“I think it’s amazing because we’re not really a... rich or have a... money in this town so I think that’s great because not a lot of people eat. Like, they come to school and that’s the only meal they have for the day,” Las Cruces High School freshman Jessi Aragon said.
Lang said it’s a blessing to be able to make a difference in the community and take some of the burden off of parents.