'Secret Santa' pays off more than 40 students' lunch bills in Pennsylvania school

Festive decorations seen at a house in Würzburg, Germany.
Festive decorations seen at a house in Würzburg, Germany.PHOTO: AFP

Christmas came early for more than 40 students at a school in the United States, who had their outstanding lunch bills paid off by a stranger.

The "secret santa" visited the H.W. Good Elementary school in western Pennsylvania on Wednesday (Dec 7) and wrote a cheque for US$864 (S$1,236) to settle the oustanding lunch balances, CNN reported on Friday (Dec 9).

Almost half the children at the school come from families that face financial struggles.

The mysterious benefactor also offered to pay for one child's lunches for the rest of the school year.

The school is working on letters to the students' families to inform them that their bills have been paid, but they do not intend to reveal their benefactor's identity.

Ms Janet Sardon, superintendent of the Yough School District, told CNN that "this time of year can be a financial burden".

She added that the secret Santa's intention "was to relieve that burden a little bit", and thanked him for " making a difference in the lives of our students".