A group of educators and special needs students in New Jersey were shocked this month when learned that an anonymous couple had paid for the group’s nearly $500 school field trip meal.

Image Source: NBC News.

Image Source: NBC News.

Twenty-one staff members and 25 autistic students from the Matthew Jago Elementary School in Sewaren, New Jersey, went on an outing to Jose Tejas, a local Tex-Mex restaurant, to celebrate Cinco De Mayo and National Teacher Appreciation.

But toward the end of the meal, when the teachers were getting ready to handle the group’s bill, they received a pleasant surprise from the restaurant’s manager.

“At the end of our meal, the manager came over and told us our entire $485 bill was paid for by a fellow patron, and she chooses to remain anonymous because she told the manager she has a grandchild with special needs. … She wanted to show her appreciation to us on Teacher Appreciation Day,” Jeannette Gruskowski, who has been a teacher at the school since 2005, told the Home News Tribune.

Gruskowski said she was stunned.

“We all were just taken aback. Nobody’s ever done such a generous, anonymous thing like that,” she said. “We’re still just amazed.”

Students were instructed prior to the outing to bring money for lunch. But after the act by the Good Samaritans, their were told them that they could save their money for another time.

School officials sent out an official notice to the students’ parents.

“[W]e’re so grateful,” Gruskowski said. “We’d like to thank her and give her a hug and let her know how much it meant.”

Students later made a thank you note and delivered it to the restaurant, hoping that the generous couple see it and know that their act of kindness is appreciated.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter